• “Now I can use both my eyes together!”

    “Now I can use both my eyes together!”

    Maria (not her real name) had developmental difficulties to overcome.

    But: as she was an only child and her parents were farming in an area, 75 kilometers away

    from the nearest town, her development was thought to be normal. After all, she was born by means of a Caesarean section at 38 weeks for lying breech, her weight was normal.

    However: due to breathing difficulties, she was incubated for 4 days, directly after birth. Her parents reported that she had a drip (intravenous fluid) for different medications.

    Once she was taken out of the incubator, Maria was moved to the paediatric ward and as she coped well, she was discharged on day 7.

    Maria was breast fed until 19 months, when she weaned herself off the breast.

    When her milestones were given, there seemed to be a lag in development, in that she never crawled properly, she shuffled around on her bottom until 13 months of age, when she just stood up and walked, albeit very wobbly at first.

    During this time, her parents noticed her to be squinting from time to time. This led to a trip to the city. Accommodative Esotropia was diagnosed which led to her having spectacles prescribed to her. I treated the Accommodative (Focus squint) Esotropia with spectacles and I treated the Amblyopia (Lazy eye) with visual therapy and patching. I referred her to an Occupational therapist who identified: delayed motor skills and delayed social skills which were related to her visual difficulties and visual deficits.

    I re-assessed Maria recently during a school holiday, and although she is now seven years old, in a boarding school, due to the distance the family reside from the nearest town, Maria has blossomed into a confident, extrovert who is also diligent in her schoolwork and sport.

    She is so positive, that contact lenses for her sport were tried and she was able to put them in and take them out, without difficulty.

    I have on many an occasion in the last decade had parents worry about how their young child would cope with contact lens wear. My answer: very well, if they are motivated and can put the lenses in, and take them out without difficulty. A strict cleanliness regime has to be followed, and the staff in this practice takes pride in teaching children all about the management of their eyes and contact lenses.


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