Strabismus: Accommodative Esotropia & Progressive Lenses?

About three years ago, an observant neighbor noticed our eldest child’s eyes were both turning inward. I dismissed it to the neighbor, but passed along the mention to my husband. I hadn’t known that he had problems with his eyes when he was younger. He immediately jumped into the situation. Our pediatrician immediately referred us to a pediatric ophthalmologist in a big city about 1 1/2 hours away. The experience there was horrific and I am reduced to tears remembering the impatience of the doctor, how he didn’t listen to a word I said, the screaming of our child as she had to be held down to get drops in her eyes, the fifteen minutes in the waiting room calming her down, and the screaming when she realized she had to go back into the back office again. We came away scarred – with a prescription for glasses in our hands.

Once back at home, I called a local optometrist who attends our church. He assured me that he could treat our child locally and she did not need to go back to that doctor’s office again. Our local doctor is patient, understanding, and very hands-on. He answers all our questions about our daughter’s accomodative esotropia (intermittant turning in of the eyes). Admittedly, my husband is much more educated about her condition. I’m the one who doesn’t think of the tough questions or question any decisions. I just know when she wears her glasses, her eyes don’t turn inward much anymore.

We used to go every few months for an eye check and new prescription. Due to a slip of my memory, what was supposed to be a six-month interval became a 10+ month interval between appointments. On Wednesday, I dutifully brought the four children for her latest appointment. Her far vision has been corrected as much as it can be, but the doctor found that her close vision was blurry.

In the midst of trying to keep the toddler and crawler busy, my ears perked up. He held some lenses in front of her glasses and she reread the close eye chart. This time, it appeared, she didn’t have nearly the trouble as last time and got many more correct. The light bulb went off in my head.

You see, our eldest child’s reading took off in the middle of last year and I couldn’t keep her from reading books late into the night with her reading lamp in her room. Then, after about three months, I would check on her to find her asleep almost immediately – no book in sight. She preferred to go straight to bed to reading. I thought perhaps she was just tired. Instead, was she starting to have trouble focusing on the words and it was now too much trouble to read her precious books?

The doctor prescribed progressive lenses – something neither my husband nor I have any experience with. My husband had ten or more questions that I had not thought to ask. I have been told she will not have any trouble after the first few days adjusting to them. I am apprehensive, but hopeful.

When I was looking up some links for this blog article, I ran across several “success stories” about Vision Therapy. I know my husband has asked about therapy before, but I don’t remember much about the answer. I plan on bringing the subject back up when we go to pick up her new progressive lenses.

I want what is best for my child. Doesn’t every parent?

About doucementgently

I'm a thirty-something female with loads of kids, a great husband, and lots of things on my mind. I plan on blogging about homeschooling, personal finance, the economy in the U.S., politics, family life, and the things my children do.
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6 Responses to Strabismus: Accommodative Esotropia & Progressive Lenses?

  1. Ann Z says:

    My daughter also has accommodative strabismus, though just today we learned that glasses aren’t enough and she’ll need surgery to correct the rest of her esotropia. Good for you for finding a doctor who listened and worked with your daughter. Those eye appointments can be hard enough without having impatient, rude doctors added to the mix. Our doctor mentioned the possibility of progressive lenses, but didn’t think they’d be necessary yet – but we may end up with them later. Best of luck to your daughter with the new lenses. I hope she’s back to reading as much as possible.

  2. It is quite common for children to have progressives or lined bifocals. It is first-line treatment for accommodative esotropia. I know that parents are nervous about this. If it helps, here is a post I did about bifocals/progressive for children:

    It sounds like you are in good hands and that your Optometrist is taking good care of you.

    I wish you the best.

    Dr B.

  3. If you have to have an esotropia….having the focusing system involved is the best kind…many times glasses can treat this condition…sometimes you may need active optometric vision therapy…and/or surgery. For more information go to I also post info on my blog from time to time as well.

  4. Pingback: An Evaluation for Possible Vision Therapy « Learning As I Go

  5. Pingback: Update: Vision Therapy Evaluation Appointment « Learning As I Go

  6. My daughter was diagnosed with accomodative esotrpia at age 1 and has gone from wearing +1.00 lenses to +4.00 lensesover a period of 6 years. We are now trying contact lenses as she is still inclined to look over the glasses and we found that she battled when doing ball sports. Our local optometrist suggested contacts as this would mean that she would be able to look in any direction and still be looking through the lenses. I am worried though because she still pulls the eye in on occasion, wether she wears the glasses or the contacts.

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