So a couple of weeks ago, we took our daughter to the pediatrician for her annual wellness visit. At age 4, they perform a vision and hearing screen. So, the nurse takes her off to perform the tests. Soon after, she informs us that her hearing is fine but her vision was slightly out of range for astigmatism.
Astigmatism is a common imperfection of the eye’s curvature. This can change the way light passes through the retina and may cause blurry or distorted vision.
So, we took her to the pediatric ophthalmologist for confirmation. And sure enough, she has hyperoptic (farsightedness) astigmatism, which means her up close vision is sometimes out of focus. She has this along with amblyopia or lazy eye. What?! I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed now. I had no idea my daughter was having these issues. I noticed she would squint sometimes but I honestly didn’t equate that to vision problems. I didn’t start wearing glasses until about the 5th grade. And she just turned 4 so I just assumed her vision was fine. How can my 4 year old need glasses?! My mommy ignorance was bliss!
So, the doctor said she definitely needs glasses. And she may also need to wear a patch to correct her lazy eye. But he wanted to try atropine eye drops first. Apparently, lazy eye is effectively treated in children under 7 years of age because their eyes are still changing. So this makes me feel a little better!
But the next question in my mind is what can I do to help improve her vision?! Crazy question, right?! But I am the healthy quest mom! My entire mission in life is to improve my family’s health. And vision is included… So I did a little research. And studies have shown that vision can be corrected (especially with younger children) through nutrition and eye exercises. Vitamin A and lutein are very important to eye health. Carrots, kale, spinach and collard greens are high in both vitamin A and lutein. Cod liver oil is also a good source for vitamin A. Vitamins C, E and minerals like copper and zinc are also essential to eye health. Anthocyanin rich blueberries, grapes and goji berries have antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties that can also help improve vision.
So wild blueberries, wild caught fish, carrots, leafy green vegetables, and cod liver oil are now on my grocery list indefinitely! I found a great cod liver oil at my favorite online health store, Vitacost. Wiley’s Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil… It has 1500 mg EPA and DHA plus multivitamins and floraglo lutein. And it’s marketed for kids with a natural mango peach flavor! Sounds good, right? I give both of my girls one serving per day along with vitamin rich fruit and veggies. My four year is wearing her glasses (most of the time) and taking her daily eye drops. She has a follow up appointment next week to see if she needs to wear a patch for her lazy eye. But I’m very optimistic that her eyeglasses wearing days are numbered. And eventually she won’t need them! But until then, she will be an eyeglasses wearing diva, like her mommy!