It all started at Colt's 6 month check-up. Dr. Whittaker was doing his exam, which included shining a red light into Colts eyes. He fumbled around for a few minutes and then said he noticed a very slight difference in the way the light was reflecting in Colts eyes. He suggested we go see a pediatric opthomologist. He was fairly certain there was no issue, but wanted us to get a second opinion just in case.
I didn't think twice about it, and called to schedule an appointment with one of the 2 doctors he had given me a card for (apparently there is a shortage on pediatric opthomolgists - note to anyone looking for a field of study). The first guy, with UAB didn't have an opening until September. Forget that. The second guy had an opening in early May so we opted for that.
Dr Metz was the first doctor we went to. Now, I'm sure Dr. Metz is a great man, and doctor but I was not a fan. He did Colt's exam without saying 2 words and upon completion told me that he was going to need glasses and he would likely need glasses for his entire life.
WHAT!?!?!??! I immediately broke down into tears and couldn't form a complete sentence to even ask any questions. Dr. Metz handed me a tissue and his prescription and walked of the room.
I called Stan bawling, very confused as to why our perfect little angel needed glasses. Stan immediately turned to Google (sometimes Google is a BAD thing) and images of "infants in glasses" scared him to death. (By the way, search for it and see what comes up, its babies in these awful looking plastic goggles.)
Anyway, after I got back to work that afternoon I did the same thing (damn you Google!) and got myself completely worked up, so much that I could not concentrate on anything else. Stan and I decided to go pick Colt back up from daycare and head down to UAB where we were going to look at options for glasses.
Once we got there, a sweet woman helped us and Stan and I were SO relieved that they had NORMAL looking glasses that we went ahead and ordered him a pair and talked about also going for a second opinion just in case Dr. Metz's diagnosis was wrong. (I mean hello, it MUST be wrong, Colt has no trouble seeing - DUH!)
We booked another appointment with Dr. Arciniegas at UAB Callahan Eye Foundation. We had about a month to wait so we decided to hold off putting Colt in the glasses until we met with her. She ended up giving us the same diagnosis as Dr. Metz, only in a much nicer tone. Colt did in fact need glasses but she didn't give us the "life sentence" that Dr. Metz did.
Colt has "Refractive Amblyopia" which means there is a difference in his two eyes: both are farsighted but one is much MORE farsighted than the other. If untreated, the brain learns to use only the "good" eye and the "bad" eye thus becomes lazy. It is very hard to teach the brain to use a lazy eye and thankfully Colt has no symptoms of this and we caught it early. The glasses help to even out the eyes in hopes that the brain learns to use them both equally.
Dr. Arciniegas says that ALL babies are farsighted and that about 80% of them grow out of the condition and never have an issue. She is unsure if Colt's eyes will continue to develop differently or if they will even out with time. Either way, she says by the age 8 or 9 kids grow out of the risk of one eye becoming lazy so at that point if Colt hasn't grown out of it on his own we can then choose to keep him in glasses, or let him go without, or even wear contacts.
We are so glad we went for the second opinion even though the end results were the same. Dr. Arciniegas was very sweet and explained things very well to two very confused parents. We picked up Colt's glasses last Friday and he looks super cute in them. I realize it could be a whole lot worse and believe me, I am SO thankful that glasses are our biggest problem. This past weekend we were at the Blues & BBQ Festival and saw several small children in wheelchairs and it really put things into perspective. We are so blessed and I am almost embarrassed for getting so upset. Check out his new eyes: