Thursday, March 18, 2010

The gift of sight

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that one day I would wonder if my child would be able to see things or not, but over the past few weeks, I have began to wonder just that.
You see, as we were having a family meal one night two weeks ago, I saw something that startled me. Chayse's eye rolled all the way in where you could not see the iris or the pupil. It turned it back almost as soon as turned in but it caught me off guard. Over the past week, I watched as it did it again, and again, and again. Nathan was in NYC when it started happening regularly but as soon as he came home, he was seeing the same thing I was. We also had several members of the family notice it as well. So, two things were determined:
1. Chayse is cross eyed.
2. We needed to see a doctor to see what was going on.
We spent several hours yesterday at Duke with a doctor who specializes in pediatric ophthalmology and strambismus. Dr. W. confirmed what we already knew, Chayse's eyes were indeed crossing. After running several test to rule out different things, we have learned that Chayse's brain is not receiving the images from one of her eyes. Her eyes are not working together as a team so one eye looks at one thing while the other eye looks at something else. This would normally cause double vision. But in small children, the brain uses suppression to switch off the second image. Children rarely have double vision because of this suppression... they instead just use one eye as their primary source for sight. That said, we now are doing occlusion therapy every day for 2 hours a day, and Chayse will have to wear glasses. The hope is that this regiment will indeed make her brain recognize and accept the images that it is currently rejecting, thus keeping her from having permanent vision loss.
We are so thankful that this was not as bad as it could have been. We now pray that this will work and Chayse will be able to gain full binocular vision with her eyes!!