Through the looking glass!
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|   Nov 25, 2016
Through the looking glass!

"Oh! Chotu ko chasma lag gaya? Zaroor TV or iPad ki wajah se hoga"? Oh! Little A has got specs,must be because of TV or iPad "! A reaction I am now quite used to when people meet my three and half years old son. And then I have to explain them that it is not due to any of these gadgets albeit once the child is advised for specs, too much of screen time could further affect the eyesight.

When my elder one was advised for glasses I was taken aback and the first thing that came to my mind was it because of iPad or phone viewing? I would not deny that he was not introduced to these gadgets at all but for minimal and restricted usage during a day. He started to recognize colors when he was 18months and by 2yrs he was able to identify all the major colors (like red,blue,green,yellow,white) along with some off colors like grey. Even could identify letters,alphabets and pictures quite early with conviction.There were no possible signs of him showing low eye sight or difficulty in viewing or identifying things. As the days passed, I noticed when ever he would watch TV, gradually he would ascend forward keeping little distance from it. On being objected that he must watch TV from far ,he would go back but would repeat after some time.

It was when we had been to the eye specialist for the younger one for some infection ,we casually thought of having an eye test done for him as well. He was 3yrs then. And were shocked to find that he had cylindrical power, myopia along with astigmatism. I had never heard of astigmatism earlier although was aware of myopia (nearsightedness,a condition in which close objects appear clearly but far objects don't) but this new term intrigued me more. While doing some research, I got to know that astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of our cornea — the clear, round dome covering the eye's iris and pupil — or in the shape of the eye's lens. Normally, the cornea and lens are smooth and curved equally in all directions, helping to focus light rays sharply onto the retina at the back of your eye. When the cornea has an irregular shape, it is called corneal astigmatism. When the shape of the lens is distorted, you have lenticular astigmatism. As a result of either type of astigmatism, your vision for both near and far objects appears blurry or distorted.People can be born with astigmatism — in fact, most people probably are born with some degree of astigmatism — and they may have it along with other refractive errors: nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia).While adults with a higher degree of astigmatism may realize their vision isn't as good as it should be, children who have astigmatism symptoms may not be aware they have this condition, and are unlikely to complain about blurred or distorted vision.

When people pass their remarks and pity him for having got specs at such an early age, I reply them that I am thankful to God that we were lucky to find the problem at the right time lest it would have further deteriorated his vision . As in case of kids, only when they are past 5 to 6yrs of age they can express their inability to view things clearly. By then if the problem exists from the birth that could further affect the vision.Initially, everyone suggested and warned us if specs can be delayed for few more years. But we were very clear and followed the advice of the doctor. Everyone suggested me to make him eat all types of green leafy vegetables. But that's ok, I can make him eat all nutritious veggies but this is something I could not have done much as it is pure genetic. As a gene can express itself at any level of generation,you and I can not do much about it! No point of regretting on something which we have little control over. Now,after 5 months of using specs, when we had his eye test done I was happy to know that his vision has improved from 6/12 to 6/9 which is ideal for his age. The decision we took for putting him on specs at the right time has certainly yielded a positive outcome.

My son took it very sportingly to wear specs when we initially informed him about his situation.We as parents were apprehensive as to how he would react or get used to wearing it or how he would use it in school and all that.But all our doubts and speculations were gone when we saw him adapting to this new aide within few days. Believe me he took just 3-4days to get used to glasses but yes needs to be reminded of for continuous usage and that's absolutely ok.

Few tips to help a toddler as young as 3yrs to get used to a spectacle. I understand every child is different and it could be challenging to introduce glasses however this is my observation and tricks which helped me to overcome the initial challenge of introducing an alien object to my kid. ‌

  • Select two or three frames that you think are acceptable for him and then allow him to pick one he likes best,that would give him excitement and build confidence in him.‌
  • The frames should be trendy like vibrant in colour yet should not be fragile . Like nowadays, lenses do come in plastic or fibre that prevents them from breakage and are actually a plus point for small kids.
  • Glasses should be comfortable and shouldn't hurt his tiny nose .‌ Also, they come with re-attachable arms hence can withstand rough handling by a kid.‌
  • To overcome the initial stage, we must start with some activities or video or cartoon a child likes, and ask him to watch them with specs. We must not expect them to wear it constantly, it should start with short span and then gradually made to routine.‌
  • Encourage him by giving example of person the child is fond of or may be some cartoon character who wears glasses .In my case, I gave him example of his elder cousin whom he likes the most and it turned out to be helpful. We can also give them examples of grandparents if either of you are not wearing glasses .
  • Initially I used a strap for his glasses and once he was comfortable in using them, he himself refused to use strap around.‌
  • In case the child is reluctant or refuses to wear them, after constant reminder then we must try to find the reason behind it rather than reinforcing the same.

Please feel free to add your inputs as I believe there are mothers like me who would have faced similar situation and challenges in making the kid wear glasses. I would be more than happy to extend my help! Happy parenting.

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