Archive for the ‘visual development’ category

Quick ‘n’ dirty update

February 24, 2014

Caleb had a regular check up appointment at Children’s Hospital nearly a month ago but I’ve been so busy I have had time to post anything about it. Overall, things are going well with Caleb’s eyes and the appointment was fairly uneventful. He is getting more clever though and has decided he doesn’t like the eye dilating drops. A little bit of encouragement is needed for him to stop from wiping his eyes after the drops go in.
Quick ‘n’ dirty:
– Caleb’s visual development is typical for his age.
– No surgery seems necessary at this point. It would be for cosmetic reasons at this point.
– Slight change in Caleb’s glasses prescription. He’s still extremely far-sighted. In some ways this makes the blepharophimosis less obvious because his glasses lenses magnify his eye size. This combined with being half-Chinese and people hardly even notice his eye size.
– No more eye patch for now; this will be reassessed at the next appointment. Caleb didn’t seem to mind the eye patch, but we forgot on the occasional day and I had to make a point of leaving it somewhere so we would remember.
– Caleb is going to be a big brother (again) in the next couple of weeks. Although genetically derived Caleb’s blepharophimosis is a unique occurrence in our family and we have no expectation that any of Caleb’s siblings will have the same disorder.
Caleb’s next appointment will be right before he starts kindergarten (Kindergarten! Geez, how did he get so big so fast?!) in September.


doing well

June 17, 2013

IMG_3420Caleb had a regular check up with the ophthalmologist at Children’s Hospital on Wednesday last week. First stop was a vision test with an extremely personable gal. Caleb was tested at 20/25 vision which is typical for a child his age and depth perception, etc. Next stop, the ophthalmologist, Dr. Lyons. Dr. Lyons said that Caleb is doing really well. His visual development continues to be typical for his age. No need for any kind of surgery at this point.

Dr. Lyons was concerned that his right eye seemed to be on the verge of lazy eye so he recommended daily patching of Caleb’s strong left eye for a couple of hours a day. Caleb picked out some fun adhesive eye patches and has been quite excited to wear them and show them off. Usually we do the patching at home, but one day we were at the ball field where Caleb’s older brother M was playing baseball and pretty much everyone we encountered asked about the eye patch. Caleb didn’t seem to care, but it reminded me of Caleb’s eyelid taping days where I would have to keep repeating myself (which was really more annoying than anything else because I kept explaining the same thing over!) Next check up is in 6 months — a good sign that all is well.

ophthalmology check up

February 4, 2012

Caleb has been doing so well that his last appointment with Dr. Lyons, the pediatric ophthalmologist at BC Children’s Hospital, was over 8 months ago.

We were called into the patient room by a woman completely lacking in personality. I wasn’t even sure who she was because she didn’t even introduce herself… was she a doctor’s assistant? A visiting doctor? Resident? I saw Dr. Lyons walk into another room in the clinic and hoped he would come see us at some point. Anyway, she had Caleb’s chart and started asking all sorts of questions that I presumed someone would know after reading his file. The more questions she asked them more I began to wonder who she was! (I eventually suspected she was a visiting post-doc fellow.)

Nonetheless, Caleb passed all the tests with flying colours. The mystery doctor got a bit impatient with him while he was doing the visual acuity test (the Allen object recognition chart with icons, not letters because he’s a bit hit and miss with letter recognition still) and almost said something but bit my tongue. She was trying to get him to tell her what the object was but he wasn’t saying anything so she kept pestering him. It was the telephone pictured below (third row, first object).

Okay, let’s be realistic. I don’t think Caleb has ever seen a telephone that looks like that in his whole life. I don’t think he would be able to name the object if he saw it at full size. He’s probably only seen a phone with a cord once or twice at most. Maybe it’s time to update the icons! Anyway, he knew the duck, cake, and hand, and with his current glasses prescription, his vision is 25/20. The mystery doctor did a few more tests which Caleb passed with flying colours.

Dr. Lyons eventually came into our room with a medical student (who was introduced to us) to review the test results. The medical student did not know what blepharophimosis was so there was a lot of explaining. Caleb still spends a decent amount of time in the chin-up position and will eventually need frontalis sling surgery. But overall Dr. Lyons is very pleased with Caleb’s visual development and Caleb doesn’t need to have another check up until September!

Caleb, aspiring hockey player (Feb. 2012)

Side note: What’s up with Caleb’s Phoenix Coyotes jersey?! Yes, we live in Vancouver, Canada, but Daddy is a Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes fan.

optometrist promo

July 30, 2011

I haven’t written in awhile, but there hasn’t been much on the blepharophimosis front to update on. Caleb is developing well and, in fact, seems to have had less gooey eyes in the past month or so. After dismal weather through June and July on the West Coast, summer has finally made an appearance. Since hubby B is a school teacher, we get to spend the summer with him… bike rides, beach, water park, playground, yay!

Since there is not much to update on Caleb, this post is really actually a blatant push for parents to have their children’s eyes checked regularly. Infants as young as six months old can have regular eye exams to “identify and address problems early and safeguard children’s vision as they grow” (BC Association of Optometrists). I am often asked how Caleb’s glasses prescription was determined when he was so young (“He didn’t know his letters at 13 months, did he?”) and how they knew he was farsighted. Babies are not too young to be assessed for things such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, colour perception, lazy eye, crossed-eyes, eye co-ordination, depth perception and focusing ability.

Through the Medical Services Plan in British Columbia, Canada, children age 0 to 18 years qualify for one full eye exam each year. There are also benefits for low-income families. I urge parents to have their children’s eyes examined.

glasses – day 2

July 24, 2010

Success! Well, at least in our own little way.

Caleb was really involved with some toys after dinner today so it was a good time to try to glasses again. It was a struggle again for the first few minutes and then we distracted him and could see that he was looking around a lot. Maybe he liked what he saw? He wore them for about an hour and only tried to take them off a couple of times. As we saw his hands go to take them off, we put them right back on and kept his hands and eyes busy with different toys and songs. He played, walked around a lot, had a snack, and even took a bath with them on. Tomorrow we’ll try to put them on first thing in the morning.

glasses – day 1

July 23, 2010

We managed to keep Caleb’s glasses on him for about three minutes this evening. It took a lot of distraction and persistence on our part. I think we have our work cut out for us. No photos yet… it was hard enough just trying to keep them on him.

We arrived home late in the afternoon from our short vacation in Whistler and had a message that Caleb’s glasses were ready. When we got there, the optician mentioned that he was out of the cute matching blue cable temples which are the additional pieces that wrap around Caleb’s ears. We had to settle for black ones temporarily. With glasses on (very briefly) in the store, Caleb was really looking around a lot. It was like the world was opening up to him.

Having worn glasses for most of my life, I know that getting used to a new prescription always took a day or two. I’m sure the world must seem rather odd to Caleb with his glasses on. We will have to slowly increase his usage until he loves what he sees so much that he won’t want to take them off.

far-sighted and fitted for glasses

July 13, 2010

Caleb had a check up with Dr. Lyons, ophthalmologist, this morning. We sat in the waiting area for about an hour before being called in. I was changing Caleb’s diaper in the ladies room at the time so B was waiting for us when we got back. (I had a feeling that when we left to go to the bathroom that it would be Caleb’s turn next! Should have left sooner! Haha). After doing a couple of different tests, Dr. Lyons decided to do a refraction test on Caleb’s eyes. He put eye dilation drops into Caleb’s eyes and then sent us back to the waiting area. Ten minutes later Blaine and I put more drops in and half an hour after that we were called into the examination room again. With me holding Caleb in my lap and immobilizing his arms, B holding Caleb’s head still, and the help of some Cheerios bribery, Dr. Lyons was able to to the refraction test.

The first time Caleb had a refraction test was just shy of a year ago when Caleb was first diagnosed with blepharophimosis. It showed some tendencies towards far-sightedness, but nothing alarming. It was in the middle of a heat wave in Vancouver and there was no air conditioning in the ophthalmology department. B, Caleb, and I were sweltering hot and Caleb was all lethargic and B and I each downed a Starbucks frap in an attempt to cool off. Yay for the Starbucks across the lane from ophthalmology!


The test showed that Caleb is indeed far-sighted. For practical purposes, this basically means Caleb’s eyes have to work hard to focus on things near. This leaves a potential for him to become cross-eyed or esotropic (a form of strabismus) as he develops. His eyes are not equally far-sighted either so the weaker eye may become lazy and not learn to see well, causing some other complications. Because of this, Dr. Lyons strongly suggested that Caleb wear corrective lenses to minimize the likelihood of having these issues develop. Somewhat surprisingly, there is a chance that Caleb could outgrown the need for glasses.

So after picking M up from grandma’s and dropping him and B off at home, I took Caleb to a place in Langley that specializes in children’s eye wear. Because Caleb’s eye openings are small and the bridge of his nose is small, there were a limited number of frame choices. The guy there was helpful and very careful to find a good fit. Dr. Lyons mentioned that one of the best ways to achieve eye wear compliance in a toddler is to ensure they are a good fit. There was a super-cute frame that reminded me of the cute kid Ray from Jerry Maguire, but unfortunately Caleb’s nose bridge was too small for them.

In the end it was a toss up between oval-ish and rectangular-ish metal frames and I opted for the oval-ish ones because they complimented his face shape better. (Oh my, was I really thinking about these things for my 13 month old baby?!). The frames have this incredible flexibility to them where you can almost tie them in a knot. Brilliant. But $250. Ouch. The lenses Caleb was prescribed need to be custom ground or they’ll look like Coke bottle glasses so add on another $25 per lens. Double ouch. Unfortunately, B’s extended medical insurance does not cover eye wear. Triple ouch. Thankfully this price tag comes with a two year frame warranty, one year lens warranty, and three month “Dr. Lyons changes his mind on the prescription” warranty. Our next follow up with Dr. Lyons is in October. Pick up the glasses next week.

Sidenote: We got bumped in a low speed rear-ender en route to Children’s Hospital. We’re fine, our bumper got a small dent. It’s annoying more than anything… just another thing to deal with.