Saturday, July 31, 2010

Praising God for Glaucoma Victories!

Gabe's friend D(friend many miles away!) had surgery to relive some of the pressure in her one eye with glaucoma. They found out yesterday that not only is the eye holding off the pressure, but that her vision in that eye has improved! Yahoo!! Yay D! And Yay God!

To see Kristi's post click HERE.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Toddlers and glasses-definately a 'through the looking glass' experience!

I have been in thought lately about little ones and glasses. I remember thinking, "How on earth are we going to get this spicey 3.5 yr old to wear glasses!" I am sure any parent of a toddler who is told that their child needs to wear glasses probably feels the same way! My worries were really for null as Gabe has put on his glasses and never bothers them. Last week another adoptive mom was struck with her little one needing to get glasses and it got me thinking of all the things I have learned in this adventure with Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, and toddler glasses. It is not quite as easy as "lets take that pair-they are cute!" It is actually a lot more complicated. Otherwise you will be like us and running every week to have glasses adjusted, nose pads fixed or changed, or a child whose glasses won't stay up! In fact I wish there would have been a little more guidance for us by the eye-glass professionals on how to fit a small child with glasses. We chose our pair same day, however I really am not sure we should have. I think some research should be done first. There are actually quite a few choices.

When we first picked Gabe's glasses out, we went with a standard fisher-price pair. We chose a neutral frame and I was relieved when the pair that we tried on had what they call ear cables.

The cables curve around the ear to help hold the glasses in place. I really liked how they helped stabilize the glasses on Gabe's little face. These actually work great for Gabe. You can even tell that he feels as though they are more secure. I was grateful that the lady who helped up suggested these to us.

One issue we have run into is the nose pads on Gabe's glasses. They are standard ones for a kiddo with a nose bridge...Gabe has about a zero bridge. Most Asian children don't have much of a bridge, so traditional nose pads are not the #1 choice. We had to go in many times to get the nose pads adjusted so that his glasses wouldn't slip. We now have little round nose pads, that are a little thicker and a stickier plastic that work very well. Again, trial and error though. There are other nose pad options. If you check out our friend, Kristi's blog HERE you will see her beautiful daughter Darcy, who also has glaucoma (of one eye), who has a one piece nose pad that I really like. It seems to really help her with the 'no bridge' issue. I have also learned that many places carry lines of glasses for kids with Down Syndrome. Kiddos with Downs also lack the nose bridge, so these lines of glasses have that in mind. Recently I asked our Optometrists about such a line and they really did not have any knowledge of such glasses, however, I found this site on the net that make glasses for kids with Downs and other special needs: Just awesome!

We were blessed shortly after getting Gabe's prescription with an adoption friend whose husband is an Optometrists (I believe) and was able to make us a spare pair of glasses. (Thanks again Amy!) I am not sure what we would have done, esp since we have lost one of those darn nose pads about once a month lately! We also at
one point lost one of the arms off of Gabe's glasses and had to use the spare for a weekend before we could get them repaired. (We were on our way for a mini-vacation and Gabe really needed his glasses!) I highly recommend getting a spare pair from Wal*mart or another inexpensive place. They do not have to be pretty, just do the the job.

On a final note, as summer is upon us, we found that it was hard to have Gabe wear sunglasses instead of his glasses. He desperately needs his glasses on, however there are times when the light gets to his eyes. I wish the idea of transitions would have been mentioned to us. We ordered Gabe's glasses last Oct. and our insurance will ok another pair ofter July 1st. So when we had Gabe's last eye appt. I asked Dr. T what he thought of the transitions. He thought that it would be a good idea, however, he thought that there would be a possibility that he will have to update Gabe's prescription again in Dec. So, do we get the transitions now, get them for free, but if he needs a new prescription in Dec, we have to pay for those 100%! And that thought that the frames are the most expensive part...not necessarily true. So, we have decided to wait for Dec. and get the transitions then, but I am still kicking myself that we didn't do it before. In doing research I came across this great 'need to know' info for all parents buying their children eye glasses:
-- Also, children should always have polycarbonate lenses in their eyeglass frames for safety. These lenses are made of a special plastic that is almost unbreakable — the same material used in bulletproof windows. Polycarbonate lenses provide 100 percent UV protection as part of their makeup, so your son will be safe wearing them. And polycarbonate Transitions lenses darken automatically in the sun to improve comfort. — Dr. Dubow

More great reading regarding choosing kids glasses:

Glasses have really opened up the world for Gabe. Helping him to see the world around him is very important to us! If you have never had to enter into the world of kiddo glasses, I hope that you find the guidance to make the best choice for your child. To quote one of the articles above: "It's important that their glasses do several things: they have to fit well, give clear vision, and be safe for even the roughest children."