July 24, 2012

Intermittent Exotropia Update

First, if you unfamiliar with Alivia’s Intermittent Exotropia, you can find some previous posts I’ve published about it HERE.  

It’ll be about two months that we’ve been patching Livvy’s strong eye to treat her Intermittent Exotropia and she’s been tolerating it fabulously!  We started out with around 25 – 30 minutes and are currently patching for about an hour now!  When I first started patching I was noticing her eye deviate a lot less.  At around the month and a half mark, however, I started to see it deviating more frequently.  Not quite as frequent as when we weren’t patching at all but never the less, more frequent.  In the beginning I was hopeful that the patch was going to be a successful treatment but now I’m not so sure. 

I took Alivia to her follow-up Ophthalmologist appointment at Children’s Hospital  today and was anxious to report the news to her doctor.  I had been anticipating what the doctor’s feedback may be.  Apparently the patch is exercising her vision more than the actual deviation.  Since I was particularly worried about vision loss (not that she had experienced any thus far so we think), this was extremely good news!  The doctor explained it to me this way:

Say, for example, her eye is deviating for an hour (in total) a day.  Patching the strong eye for an hour forces her to use the vision in the weaker one for an hour more than her unaffected eye.  It just evens things out a bit.

As for the deviation, the doctor mentioned that patch study findings had mixed results.  Some parents were finding the patch either helped the deviation, didn’t make a difference, or made it worse.  In some cases, patching the stronger eye can weaken it causing a deviation in that eye as well. 

Since Alivia is still too young and uncooperative with taking the eye tests, her doctor is unable to measure the amount of deviation the eye is actually doing.  With that said, she doesn’t recommend eye muscle surgery (which is only 70% effective anyway) in fear of over correcting the eye muscle.  When this happens, the eye can deviate inward (cross eye) causing her binocular vision and depth perception to suffer.  The doctor’s instructions were to keep patching an hour a night (assuming I don’t see any deviations in her strong eye) and to follow-up with her in a few months.  Our next appointment is in October.  I’m sure I’ll have another update for you then.

In the meantime, I remain hopeful that the patch is at the very least saving her vision which, let’s face it, is HUGE!  I just want my baby’s beautiful eyes to work as they should.  I also keep reminding myself that she could have a lot worse things and I’m grateful to God every day that she doesn’t.  My family is blessed!

On a more important note, I have to leave you with some pictures.  These were taken at my niece’s sixteenth birthday party at her house.  Unfortunately, my sister’s family doesn’t care to be posted online so I’m going to have to bore you with the same ol’ subject, ALIVIA!  Nah, I’m just kidding!  I know you don’t think she’s boring or you wouldn’t keep coming back right?  I mixed it up a little with pictures of my mom and step-dad.  I even decided to post one with my sister in it but only because you don’t really see her face (and I’ve posted similar pictures in the past). 

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This next shot is one of my favorites!
It’s all about that smile!
And look at the major wrinkle of the nose!
I just have to link it up…

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Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent Weakley

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  1. Oh, I'm sorry to hear that it hasn't worked like you had hoped, but at least it is working in some way. I'll keep praying for your beautiful Livvy's eyes! I love these shots, Elena! She is so pretty and I especially love the ones with your family in them with her. You can definitely see the love!!!

  2. I hear ya girl! We go Thursday for my 2 year olds Ophthalmologist appointment for what is possibly a strabismus (cross eye), but it doesn't always show up, so it's confusing. Ugh.
    I wish you guys the best with your treatments! Glad your sweet girl is tolerating it so well...

  3. I just love when they squinch up their noses like that one picture! So awesome and cute! I like the shot of Alivia in the green canoe where she is facing forward- so pretty!! I don't get sick looking at her pretty pictures! :) I love her dress too!

  4. Well, hopefully it will correct over time, and glad you don't need the surgery at this point...she sure knows how to ham it up for the camera!

  5. I am hoping that your treatments continue to help in some way and will definitely keep your little girl in our prayers. These are the sweetest and most beautiful shots of her!! love them all!!

  6. You have the best attitude about the whole situation. Wishing you and your daughter the best!

    I just love your photography by the way.

  7. Oh wow- it's hard to see your child go through that. But it's good that they are addressing it early. My hubs had several surgeries as an infant & child to try to correct his amblyopia. They were able to get it straight but it drifts when he's tired. Unfortunately he didn't do everything he was supposed to as a kid & as a result they were never able to get the eye to actually work. So he is technically blind in that one & doesn't have peripheral vision.

    Praying they are able to help your sweet little girl.

  8. Hi Elena! I posted a while back. I am having the same issue with my little one. We patch an hour a day; alternating eyes. Her eyes seem to be getting worse. We go to see the doc on 9/13; like your daughter they are just monitoring things. It's so hard because we just want their eyes to be better! You are not alone. Sending lots of positivity your way!


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