This is what we did with our daughter’s lazy eye… Hope it gives other parents a better idea of what to expect if they think their child have lazy eyes.
Getting a referral
It is best to go to a specialist to have your child’s eyes checked.
You could go to the polyclinic to get a referral to KKH Children’s Eye Clinic or NUH. In my case, we brought DD2 to KKH. However, as the waiting time was too long – over 6 months – DH and myself decided to skip the polyclinic route and brought DD2 as a walk-in patient to KKH instead. Although the fees were much more expensive, since there were no subsidies, we decided to go ahead with it as we felt our daughter’s eyes were more important, and we did not want to delay treatment.
In any case, we were very happy with the services at KKH Children’s Eye Clinic. The specialist that we saw was Dr Sonal.
After the specialist saw DD2, she recommended that she had to go for eye patching. Her good eye is the left eye and the right eye is the lazy eye.
What is eye patching?
To correct the lazy eye, we had to patch the good eye (left eye). In other words, cover the good eye with an eye patch (which we bought at the pharmacy). DD2 had to wear the eye patch for 3 hours every day. This is on your own time, meaning you can patch her eye at home. No need to go to the doctor’s office or hospital for patching. DD2 wore it when she went to school and even to church.
Some of the kiddie eye patches come with stickers on them, so it entices the kids to wear them. We were fortunate that DD2 was very compliant and was agreeable to wear the eye patch without much fuss. In any case, she felt that she looked like Cyborg (one of the Teen Titans characters) and thought that she looked "cool" and "cute". So that really helps!!
How long must the kid wear the eye patch?
This really depends on the doctor’s recommendation and advise. DD2 wore her eye patch 3 hours daily for about 2-3 years. I know, it’s a long time. But at the end of the day, it’s for her own good. The specialist that we saw is very strict about the kids wearing the eye patches. I have seen her reprimanding parents if they are not diligent in following her advise. Her view is that if we as parents don’t help the child, then how can the child get better.
So, on our part, DH and myself will diligently patch her eye on a daily basis. We even did that when we went overseas on holidays. As mentioned, DD2 is a very obedient girl, so that really helps a lot.
Any medication or eye exercises?
My DD2 did not need to take any medication and there were no eye exercises needed. But the doctor advised us to regulate her TV viewing time and computer games- don’t watch/play too much and don’t sit too near.
Any special diet or supplements?
In terms of diet or supplement, I did not give her anything special. The only thing I remember giving her the most was the wolfberry. I included that in her soup and porridge.
In the early stages – when we first saw the KKH specialist – I think we went to see the doctor every two months. Then, it became every 6 months. This went on for about 2-3 years. When DD2 was about 7 yo, then it became an annual check-up thereafter. I guess, how often the child sees the doctor is really on a case-by-case basis.
Whilst it was "troublesome" in the early stages – as my DH and myself took turns to take leave to bring her – we felt it was worth the trouble. Most importantly, DD2’s lazy eye was corrected.
I know the doctor that you went to mentioned that some kids’ lazy eye self-corrects. Personally, I’d go with the mother’s instinct. If you feel uneasy, then bring him to an eye specialist. If there is no cause for concern, then that’s really good news. But if something needs to be done, at least one can quickly go for early intervention.
Hope the above helps. Not to worry, lazy eye is nothing serious. But do get the proper diagnosis.