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You can heal your child's strabismus naturally
on January 15, 2010
At age 3 1/2 my daughter fell hard against the window seat in our living room hitting the bridge of her nose. There was so much bruising she ended up with 2 black eyes. Since she couldn't tell us exactly where she hurt herself, we applied the ice to her forehead and not her nose until we noticed it turning blue. A trip to the doctors on the following Monday (it happened on the weekend) and an x-ray revealed the nose was not broken. However, about 3 weeks later, I noticed that her eyes were not tracking properly. It took another month to get an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist. Her diagnosis: strabismus, her recommendation: surgery. I asked if perhaps her fall a few months prior had anything to do with her strabismus. The doctor replied absolutely not, these vision complications just appear at this age. I got a second opinion and the same diagnosis and same recommendation. I began researching strabismus and surgery. I discovered that the surgery has a very poor outcome and results in many repeat surgeries a lot of the time and vision usually is not improved, the fix is usually just cosmetic. The surgery fix is to "snip" the muscle holding the eye to "tighten" it and keep the eye straight. It occurred to me that God gave us only so much length of optic muscle and it didn't grow like hair. Continued surgeries to re-snip just sounded like a very bad idea to me. I began searching for alternatives.
I found a vision therapist through vision therapy dot org off of a link on strabismus dot org. At age 3 1/2, my daughter began vision therapy. We played "eye games" by having her sort red and green beads while wearing red/green glasses. While she wore the red and green glasses, we played matching game from cards I made up on red and green construction paper and we played go fish with special red and green cards I made from the computer. I found a site that had the jpgs of all 52 cards and I just printed them on red and green construction paper and laminated with laminating sheets that I picked up from my local office supply store. We rolled balls across the floor diagonally to each other, we elephant-walked across the floor. Her strabismus continued to improve, the turning was not as severe or as often, usually just when she was tired. As she got older, we played different games and she worked with the therapist. I did color therapy, while she slept, on her at night with color slides and a mini spot light. When she was in 1st grade, we had a break-through, she began experiencing double vision. It happened on the drive to dinner after a vision therapy appointment. I frantically placed a call to the optometrist we were taking her for VT. The optometrist explained that her brain was now sending signals to both eyes and she needed to learn how to "fuse" both objects to regain stereo-optic vision. This was wonderful exciting news!! At last I had confirmation that not having surgery and doing vision therapy was the correct decision. We continued to work on this and she regained her stereo-optic vision. She continued to go to vision therapy until 2nd grade. We made a pair of 'binoculars' from 2 toilet paper tubes and decorated with foam sheets and acrylic gems. This fun (and inexpensive) toy encouraged her to work on stereo-optic fusion.
Today, she maintains stereo-optic vision, she doesn't see double and her eye track properly. Only when she is very tired, do we see a slight turning. It is so slight and corrects itself so quickly, that it is practically un-noticable.
I've had almost a decade to ponder. I have come to the conclusion that, contrary to the ophthalmologists' expert opinion, her fall had EVERYTHING to do with her strabismus. The trauma to her nose, affected the muscles holding the eyes in the socket. Trauma to muscles take time to heal. As the eye muscles began to heal, her strabismus began to heal. The vision therapy was vital in helping "turning" on the neural pathway from the brain to her eyes.
As for the ophthalmologist's explanation that these eye problems like strabismus just "occur" at that age (ie toddler-hood). Think about it. Toddlers fall down A LOT!! Toddlers fall and hit their heads!! No connection to head trauma!!! Bull!!!
Bottom line... Don't let the ophthalmologist convince you to have surgery on your baby's eyes for strabismus, especially if the condition proceeded any kind of fall. Vision therapy does work.
This book will help you understand your child's vision issue and devise "eye games" to play with the child to help correct it.