Pediatric Strabismus: My Son’s Diagnosis and Treatment
A Parent’s Perspective on Strabismus Surgery, By Linda Warnick
My son, Matthew, was diagnosed with strabismus at a young age and what a journey it has been. At first, I was very overwhelmed, knowing so little about the condition. But over the years, our family has learned and grown with Matthew through the physical and emotional challenges he has faced with strabismus. Over time, Matthew has emerged confident, thriving and with a great sense for the importance of his eyes and why he must protect them.
Matthew’s Diagnosis and Treatment
Matthew was diagnosed with strabismus at 17 months of age. At a routine check-up, Matthew’s pediatrician noticed that his left eye was turning slightly inward and referred Matthew to a pediatric ophthalmologist for a more detailed examination. This exam confirmed that Matthew had a form of strabismus, esotropia, where one or both of his eyes would turn inward intermittently. When I received the diagnosis, I was very overwhelmed. I began to research the condition and learned how strabismus can alter how a person sees the world. What was my child seeing or not seeing? Was he growing up with a perspective of the world very different from mine and did he know any different? With Matthew being so young, he could not explain to me what he was experiencing.
Matthew’s pediatric ophthalmologist treated him with bifocal glasses. It was a challenge, given Matthew’s young age, to teach Matthew to consistently wear his glasses. Many days I would find his glasses lying on the floor while Matthew was running off into the next room for his next adventure. After much perseverance particularly from Matthew’s big brother, Matthew began to wear his glasses steadily and the next challenge was teaching him to use his bifocal. Soon that became second nature for him as well. Matthew’s eyeglasses effectively controlled his strabismus for many years.
Next Chapter, Growing Up with Strabismus