Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fiona's glasses

I was getting my prescription on my glasses adjusted and I figured I'd get Noah's eyes rechecked (he wears glasses for reading if his eyes start to get tired). And while Fiona had never complained of anything, I though it might be a good idea to get her eyes screened. She has been reading language for about two years and music for a good 6 months and does a lovely job with numbers and computers for a five-year-old. So I figured she was unlikely to have any eye problems. She was very excited about her eye appointment. It was going to be an interesting experience, she was sure -- even though she was sure she wouldn't need glasses.

How wrong we all were. You just assume that because you have a precocious kid who doesn't complain that everything must be okay. But from the instant she sat in the big chair and began trying to read off the chart it was apparent that something serious was up. Her vision was at best 20/100 uncorrected. Twenty-twenty is of course "normal," and 20/200 is generally equated with legal blindness. So she was basically half-blind. It turns out she's extremely far-sighted ... more than 7 diopters. With correction her vision will likely be close to normal, though she'll need to be rechecked to confirm that.

This makes sense of a lot of things that in retrospect I'm kicking myself for not putting together. Her tendency to get in front of everyone else in an attempt to see the TV or computer screen. Her inability to cope with the 2nd volume of the "I Can Read Music" book, even though it starts out easier than the first volume, which she can do easily (the second book is in a smaller font). Her ability to read almost any newspaper or magazine headline, but her disinterest in reading anything more than (large-font) easy readers in book form.

I think she looks gorgeous in her new glasses. And she is thrilled with them which is super.

8 comments:

  1. You never realise that your vision is off until you get glasses - and then, wow, what a difference! I have been near-sighted since I was 7 and when I got glasses I found out that trees have individual leaves!!

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  2. Oh, I know, Nicola, I've been there too. When I was growing up I thought the binoculars my grandfather had at the cottage had some kind of special optical magic, because everything had sharp edges and yes, the trees had individual leaves. I didn't realize until years later that I was using the focus wheel to correct my nearsightedness. I was in my fourth year of university when my friend took off his glasses to rub his eyes and squint at the overhead screen he was straining to see and I picked his glasses up an put them on ... and said "wow!" I'd probably been significantly near-sighted for 10 years by then.

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  3. Could she be any more adorable? And yes those "hints" our kids give us (re: not having 20/20 vision) becomes so clear AFTER they have their glasses on. Look out small reading world, here comes Fiona!

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  4. Nothing like a little surprise at the eye doctor's, eh? She's adorable in her glasses. Hopefully she'll outgrow the farsightedness. My dd ended up with glasses for farsightedness a couple of years ago. A year ago her prescription had improved but she still needed glasses, but within a few months, she quit wearing them and hasn't complained of anything. I asked her if she felt like she needs a re-check and she said "nah, I'm fine now" so we'll leave it at that and hope she doesn't swing over the other direction with really bad nearsightedness like her poor mother ;-)

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  5. What great glasses she has. They suit her perfectly.

    I've been wearing glasses since 7 and love them.

    You're a pretty amazing mom for catching this so early. Good for you!

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  6. I was one of those precocious kids who couldn't see, but I had a good memory and could read enough up close when the print was large--as it was in first - third grade. In fourth grade it got harder and I got glasses.

    I remember being amazed that one could see the individual leaves on the trees! I just didn't know...

    Fiona looks adorable!

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  7. A whole new world opening up for her. She's adorable in them!!

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  8. Makes me think I should be making an appointment for my 5 year old, just in case. He does maintain he can "easily" read tiny writing, but I think he's referring to what *he's* written..... ;)

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