April 1, 2014

Intermittent Exotropia Update – Time for Glasses

I haven’t done an update on Alivia’s Intermittent Exotropia for quite some time, so I thought I’d share the latest with all of you today.

Since I was sick, my husband took her to the last Ophthalmologist appointment.  Before I go into what she said, let me catch you up with what’s been going on.  As a reminder, you can read all my Intermittent Exotropia posts here to catch up.

I’d been patching Alivia’s eye for two hours a night and keeping a close watch on her deviation.  For months, the hubby and I didn't see it deviate much, so we decided to discontinue the eye exercises.  She was doing good for awhile.  Then, out of the blue, we started seeing it again.  Mostly when she was in her car seat, looking out the front of the car through the windshield to the outside.  At those times, we’d ask her to bring her eye in. Over time, she became a pro at bringing her eye in demonstrating impressive control over it which made us very happy.  Happy for us and her!


Intermittent Exotropia Update via Cropped Stories

Since the deviation was becoming more frequent, we decided to start the eye exercises again. Especially the exercise that tested her vision. For this exercise, we would use stickers of the alphabet and put them on a chair at different distances away from her while she covered each eye individually.  While she could see very well with one eye, the deviated one was seeing alarmingly worse.  The most frightening for us was when we sat her on the couch across from our 50 something inch TV, and she couldn’t tell us what was on the screen even when we froze the frame.  After awhile, she broke down in tears. When we asked her what was wrong, she said she couldn’t see.  She seemed frustrated and scared.  I wanted to wrap her in my arms for an eternity to soothe her and that’s just what we did.  The hubby and I decided it was enough with the exercises for that night.  Since the vision in her deviated eye didn’t correct itself as we were told it could but instead got increasingly worse, we decided to call the doctor the next day.  At this point, we were prepared to set up eye muscle surgery assuming there were no other treatment options.

At her most recent Ophthalmologist appointment, they administered eye drops and gave her an eye exam.  The eye drops, in case you are unfamiliar with them, are to dilate the pupils to evaluate the internal ocular structures.

Since she did worse on her eye exam as we expected she would, the doctor recommended glasses.  The suggestion for glasses were a surprise but, being that Alivia had an astigmatism, the doctor felt it best to correct it.  The idea, or hope, was to correct her vision making it less likely that her eye would deviate.  Seeing better may have been the incentive Alivia needed to make her want to use both eyes equally. Since her doctor wanted to exhaust all other treatments before resorting to surgery, especially on someone so young, we went along with it and purchased her glasses within a week.  We also threw in  a pair of prescription sunglasses as she has always been sensitive to light.  In the meantime, we have check ups set up every three months to make sure her vision isn’t getting worse.  If it gets worse, eye muscle surgery will have to be our next move.  It will be, unfortunately, our last treatment option.

In the meantime, Alivia loves her glasses and, quite frankly, they love her!  Just when I thought it wasn’t possible, she had become ten times cuter!  I taught her how to put them on and take them off correctly using both hands.  I also taught her how to store and clean them. It really wasn’t surprising watching her care for them so well.  Every so often, she likes to take them off and give her nose a break (just like her mama).  Although I have to remind her to put them back on sometimes, she has been great at doing it!  No persuading; no bribery; no coaxing!  She is such a great kid, and every day she continues to show us, at only 3 1/2, how responsible, smart, and grown up she is!  It’s amazing, and we are super proud of her!

If you missed my previous post, Skinny people have feelings too, feel free to check it out!  I’ve received nothing but great feedback on it.  Thanks to everyone that shared their personal experiences with me.  You all made me feel much better at what has been a huge frustration of mine since I was a kid.  You made me realize that I’m not alone and that writing about it was the right thing to do!

Hope you are all having a wonderful Tuesday!


  1. Alivia is so adorable with her glasses. I just wanted reach through the screen and hug her. Seriously, glad that it seems that the glasses will help with her Intermittent Exotropia and thank you for the update tonight on here and was actually just wondering a few days ago how she was doing. So, the update was truly appreciated and again so happy that she is getting the proper help for it :)

  2. I didn't know that she had that & had never heard of it. I just read your older posts. She does look very cute in the glasses.

  3. She is beautiful! Our journey seems to have very similar challenges with our 14-month-old daughter. We have had to start patching 6 hours a day, which is realistically more like 2-3 if we are lucky to get her to not take it off. And, she has to wear glasses full-time as well. The patching to help with the amblyopia and the glasses to help with her nearsightedness in that eye. When I found out this was something we were going to have to face I just cried because it's not something I want for her to have to face. But, as you said, there are much worse challenges to have to face. Luckily she will tolerate the glasses at least now, but it was quite a battle in the beginning. Hang in there, I know it can be so exhausting and frustrating. And the harderst part is the unknown about what will happen in the future because it's hard to predict how their eyes will grow. It sounds like she is doing great, though, and it's very hopeful to see how much she is enjoying her glasses. Thank you for sharing your story!! It's so important to know other parents are going through the same challenges and to gather strength together.

  4. Thanks for all of your updates. We have 2 kids and our newest is currently 3 mos old and has what I think is intermittent exotropia. We've noticed his left eye wanders outward when he's tired or staring off at a distance. I know he's super young still, but it happens so frequently to the same eye that I just know there's something wrong. We have an appt with the ped ophthalmologist in a couple weeks. I too feel the same as what you were describing in your earlier posts. I'm so sad for him and get really down about it sometimes. I just want to wrap him up and hold him close forever. No one wants to hear there is anything wrong with their baby... But at the same time, I know that people have to overcome things that are way tougher and way more serious. I just try to always think that it could be worse. Anyway just wanted to say thanks for the info.

  5. Just wanted to say thanks for your updates. We have 2 kids and our youngest (now 3 mo) has what I'm pretty certain is intermittent exotropia. His left eye wanders out whenever he's tired or starting off in the distance. We have an appt with the ped ophthalmologist in a couple weeks. I know he's still young but we are certain there is something wrong. When I first noticed it and realized it's probably not just normal newborn eye adjustments, I got so upset. No one wants to find out that their precious baby is less than perfect. To think that my little innocent boy will now have to suffer through this makes me so sad. Some days I just want to hold him close and cry... And what makes it worse is that I know there are many, many other precious babies going through harder and more serious problems. I'm hopeful for what the doctors say but I am also dreading hearing what's wrong. I just hope it's something that we can fix. Kids can be so cruel and even adults can be judgemental. Anyway, I hope the glasses continue to help your daughter and thanks again for posting.

  6. She is such a little doll. I am sorry she has to go through this challenge. One of our grandson's is wearing glasses now. he told me I can see everything Grandma!. Big hugs all around xo

  7. Really nice blog you have! Now there is both a Blog Hop and a giveaway on my blog if you would like to take part, you are welcome! http://gladalinjen.blogspot.se/2014/04/blog-hop-blowout.html

  8. She is absolutely adorable! And you're right, the glasses do make her 10 times cuter. :)

  9. How is Alivia doing now ?


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