Firecracker got her first pair (of what will likely be many) glasses last week!
They're probably not as fancy as something Fancy Nancy herself would have picked out...but they've got a little bling. (Firecracker wanted gold and black to match the school colors...but she had to settle for pink and black.)
If you've got a little girl who wears or will soon be wearing glasses, I highly recommend Fancy Nancy and the Spectacular Spectacles by Jane O'Connor. (We're Fancy Nancy fans in general, though, so it was a favorite even before we found out about Firecracker's eyes.)
A few weeks ago, Firecracker told us that if she closed one eye, that everything was blurry for the remaining eye. We did some rough testing of her eyes at home...and sure enough, she couldn't see much of anything with her right eye. In fact, if she tried to read with just her right eye, she could only read a few words before he got "TV vision" as she called it...meaning everything went to black and white fuzzies until she could refocus to read a few more words and then it would happen again...over and over and over.
We asked her how long she'd known she had a weak eye...her answer...since they tested her in kindergarten...over a year ago. WHAT?!?! I was shocked. Isn't the school supposed to tell us things like that?!? It turns out the school didn't know. I'm still baffled as to how Firecracker could have possibly passed their vision test. The school said she tested at 20/20 and 20/24 in her two eyes on her recent vision test. The eye doctor measured her vision at something more like 20/200 in her "bad" eye and 20/60 in her "good" eye...which means she has a very strong prescription in both of her lenses.
It might have something to do with Firecracker being farsighted and they're mostly checking for nearsightedness...but I was there for Firecracker's vision exam and she could only see the largest letter with her bad eye. (Now to the school's credit, I know they do a decent job testing the kids and notifying parents because several other parents have told me that it was the school that caught their kids' vision problems.)
Not only does she get to wear her new glasses, but she also has "lazy eye" and gets to wear a nifty eye patch over her good eye after school to help her weak eye get more exercise and get stronger. (More about that in another post.) Fortunately, she's was excited to be getting glasses...because the patching has not been fun for her. Even with the glasses, it's work for her to use her weak eye because the doctor didn't give her a full prescription in hopes the eye will get stronger. She has been obedient about wearing it for the required time, though.
I'd never thought to have Firecracker's vision checked because she's such an awesome reader. She's never had any kind of problem in school. We've never seen her bad eye wander or cross. She could see things in the distance...she can see if the crossing lady is in front of the school from our dining room...after all...she is farsighted. And of course I knew they screened the kids at school.
Bottom line though...we should have thought to check. Her birthfather is farsighted and has always worn glasses...but even without a family history of it...we should have thought to check. It really only takes a few minutes to pull up an eye chart online and ask your kids to read a few letters.
I'm so glad Firecracker finally thought to say something to us about it because her eye doctor told us that it's a lot harder to strengthen a lazy eye after a child is about 8 years old...so we only got a little over a year left in that magic window. So you all might want to check your kids' vision. You don't need to haul them off to the eye doctor...but pull up a vision chart and do a rough test of each eye yourself.