#Amblyopia Resolved

After a year of patching, Lexie’s amblyopia has been resolved. We began patching her “lazy” eye at the end of August 2012. In the beginning, she wore a patch for four hours a day. Then we went down to two hours a day. And then finally it was down to just a half an hour a day.

At her September appointment, the doctor said her amblyopia had been resolved. He wanted us to go for six weeks without her wearing a patch to see if her vision stayed the same. If it didn’t, we would have to continue having her wear the patch.

We went to the follow up appointment on Wednesday. There was a bit of confusion with her exam. The tech did the exam using letters because Lexie sat down and started saying them. But since she is under 7, the doctor said they need to use symbols. He said the letters were unreliable at this young of an age. So after they re-did the test, he declared that her vision was fine. Or I should say much better. She still has glasses which only correct vision on her right eye. We go back in three months for another follow up.

Ambloypia and allergy update

As I have mentioned before on this blog, my daughter Lexie suffers from eczema (exacerbated by her allergies) and has amblyopia. In the past two weeks we have visited the ophthalmologist and the allergist so I thought I would give an update.


Lexie was diagnosed with amblyopia in June of 2012. We started patching her “lazy” eye at the end of August 2012. A year later there has been a VAST improvement. Her doctor was thrilled with the results. In the beginning we patched her “good” eye (which causes the lazy eye to have to work) for four hours a day. It then went down to two hours a day. Now we are down to just a half an hour each day! We go back again in two months for a follow up.

eyeglasses_2270_129578649At the appointment he also dilated her eyes to see if she needs a new prescription for glasses. Wow did her prescription change. Her vision has gotten so much better but not clear enough for her not have glasses. She picked out new frames – red with butterflies on the sides. They aren’t the ones I would have chosen but hey, I don’t have to wear them. As long as she likes them and hopefully wears them. We have been fighting with her lately to get her to wear her current glasses.


We had not been to the allergist in over a year as the antihistamine prescribed (Xyzal daily) had been handling her scratching relatively well. But when it came time to refill it this month, they wanted an appointment before renewing it. The appointment came at a good time as the week prior, Lexie had attended a bible camp and had come back with some bumps on her legs. She proceeded to scratch them which of course made her legs look bad. My husband wanted the doctor to prescribe a steroid to clean up the marks while I was thinking a prescription for an antibiotic might be enough. It turns out that we both got our wish. I came out of the appointment with a record SEVEN prescriptions.

Besides the oral steroids and antibiotics, the doctor renewed her antihistamine and prescribed a second one for nighttime to see if that would reduce any scratching at night. She also gave us one for a nasal spray to use during the few months of a year that Lexie’s allergies result in a runny nose.

The last two prescriptions were for emergency drugs. While at the appointment, I relayed to the doctor an incident in March where after we had been out to eat, Lexie began complaining that her throat hurt. Within an hour, she was covered in hives. We ended up giving her Benadryl and calling the Nurse’s line. The nurse increased the amount of Benadryl we gave her to 2 teaspoons and suggested taking her to the ER if she didn’t improve in thirty minutes. Luckily within thirty minutes, Lexie was fine. The thing that concerned us and her doctor was her throat hurting. It might have been because it was closing due to the allergic reaction. So we got a prescription for an Epi Pen Jr. and a lesson on how to use it. The last prescription was for a chewable steroid to keep in a medicine key chain that had some Claritin in it. We are to give Lexie the pills if she ever breaks out in hives like that again. Of course we haven’t had an incident like that again so far but the scary thing is we don’t know what triggered it.

Amblyopia and eczema update

As I have mentioned before on this blog, my daughter Lexie suffers from eczema (exacerbated by her allergies) and has amblopia. Since she just turned five and it has been about five months since I wrote about them, I figured it was about time for an update.


Lexie was diagnosed with amblyopia in June of last year. We started patching her “lazy” eye at the end of August. At the time, her vision in her lazy eye was 20/60. We started with four hours a day of wearing the patch and then after two months the doctor dropped her down to two hours a day.

Getting Lexie to wear the patch has never been a problem, and we have been diligent about her wearing it though on a rare occasion we have skipped a day (due to illness or just plain forgetting) and we have sometimes left the patch on for longer periods (usually because we aren’t watching the time).

The ophthalmologist has been seeing her every two months to monitor her progress. Even I can see that she is doing better on the eye exams. At her appointment earlier this month, he finally said we are almost there. After 6 months of patching we are at 20/30. (The goal of course is 20/20.) If all continues to go well, we may be done with patches and glasses. Lexie will be thrilled. She doesn’t mind the patch (and even asks for it), but she hates to wear her glasses. I think some of that comes from the fact that no one in her preschool class or any of her friends wear them.


Lexie was diagnosed with eczema at three months old. It has been a continuous battle to find a way to make her comfortable. We relieved a lot of her itching through NAET, but of course, she still has eczema flare ups. In October (during a particularly nasty flare up), we took her to see a new dermatologist who ended up prescribing some treatments that her previous doctor had already tried.

She set up a new routine of applying Derma-smooth oil (Fluocinolone acetoninde .01%)  to Lexie’s wet skin. We followed up with 2% Mupirocian Ointment (antibacterial cream) on any open areas and prescription hydrocortisone cream (2.5%) on the flare ups. And since all lotions bother Lexie, we put petroleum jelly on top to lock in the moisture. Since we were already wrapping her feet to stop her from scratching at night and it was working, the doctor said to keep it up.

At a check up three weeks later, they prescribed an oral antibiotic to clear up any infection on her feet. As soon as we gave her that and continued with the above treatment, she cleared right up. I know doctors don’t like prescribing antibiotics without cause but every time her feet are that scratched up I can pretty much guarantee you that she has a staph infection. And I know from personal experience that the infection increases the itchy feeling.  It is a vicious cycle – scratching causes the infection which leads to more scratching.

So from the end of November through the end of December, Lexie’s skin looked good. And then she got the flu. Any time that she is sick, her skin always gets worse. Back came the medicines. Throughout February, her feet and legs ranged from okay to border-line when we would need to begin wrapping them again. Lexie is adamant that we don’t wrap them. Of course, she is not a fan of treating her skin at all. She vividly recalls all the lotions and creams that weren’t supposed to sting or hurt but did. Also every time you put lotion or medication on her legs, it causes her to scratch. It is a Catch-22 – if you don’t treat her dry skin, she scratches. But the mere application of lotions or creams causes her to scratch too. I don’t think she is necessarily allergic to them but the sensation of something on her legs bothers her.

Surprisingly, her feet are still doing fine after both her birthday (lots of sugar) and Spring Break (going to places we don’t usually go which usually means extra scratching). Anyway, we will continue to control her eczema and patch her eye daily until it improves enough for the glasses to be removed.

Amblyopia Update

Today, I took my daughter back to the ophthalmologist to see how much patching her eye for four hours a day has helped her amblyopia. He said we have been doing an excellent job, and her eye has improved. We can move down to patching her eye just two hours a day. Yeah! We go back for another check up on Halloween.

Our main battle won’t be getting her to continue wearing  the patch, it will be getting her to wear her glasses. Every time I turn around she has taken them off. She especially hates wearing them with the patch. Hopefully with school starting we can get her use to wearing them all the time – or at least more often.

Amblyopia: Turning my daughter into a pirate

I can’t really say we knew my daughter had an eye problem before her annual physical after her fourth birthday, but I know we weren’t surprised when we were referred to an ophthalmologist. Lexie has always been a clumsy child. My husband often says it isn’t “if” she will knock over her drink it is more a matter of “when.” She does spill quite a few drinks, and sometimes she has turned and walked into the wall or a shopping cart. But we chalked it up to her being young and not paying attention.

Now we know the cause of the problem is that she has amblyopia (sometimes called “lazy eye”) in her right eye. Basically, one of her eyes developed good vision while the other eye does not focus properly. In essence, the doctor said she is not seeing out of her “bad” eye. I soon learned that this is quite common – effecting 2-3% of kids. Caught in early childhood, it can be corrected.

We were first given a pair of glasses to help her vision. Lexie picked up a pair of pink frames and wouldn’t look at any others. I thought that was fine as long as she liked them. And she did like them until she had to wear them. A few days after having glasses, she declared she hated them. And thus began the battle of getting her to wear them. She is constantly asking to take them off or sometimes just takes them off, and then I panic that she left them on the floor where anyone can step on them.  Finally, we have her where she is wearing them about 75% of the time. (She can’t wear them in the bath or the pool and with a hot Texas summer, she is enjoying a lot of both of those.)

We went back to the eye doctor at the end of July. He told us what I had been dreading. She would need to wear a patch. The instant I heard the word patch I envisioned all sorts of battles. She screamed bloody murder when the doctor tried to patch her eye briefly during the eye exam. He gave us a couple of samples of a Band-Aid-type eye patches that you can buy at your local store. Then he gave us a sheet of paper with information about purchasing “kid-friendly” eye patches from a website. I went home and quickly ordered girly sparkly patches that have mermaids, hearts, princesses, ladybugs and teddy bears on them.

In preparation of having to make her wear a patch, we bought her some pirate stuff which of course is next to impossible to find in July. I also bought a few small prizes to help entice her to wear the patch. We told her about wearing the patch and how it would make her eye better. She didn’t sound excited about the patch but did like the sound of getting some pirate swords and hooks for her and her brother to play with. I still was expecting a battle and waited for the special patches to arrive which they did two days later.

My daughter was so excited when she got the box. She wanted to wear a patch right then. She wanted the one with ladybugs. She is supposed to wear the patch for four hours a day. It was an hour before bed, but we let her wear it. The next day when I mentioned the patches, she wanted one with mermaids. She made it for the four hours. And so it has been every day. She is excited to wear her patch. Sometimes she gets tired of it and wants to remove it early, but that is where those small prizes come in handy. I just give her one and that distracts her for a while, and we are able to get the required four hours done. In two weeks we will go back to the doctor to find out if her eye is improving and how much longer she will remain a part-time pirate. I am just thankful that she loves these patches and we aren’t battling everyday to get her to wear them.