The Eye Test that Monali just about missed
Monali a five year old was bubbly girl living with her happy parents. However things took a sudden change following a routine screening eye test at school. “I was not even going to send Monali to school that day”, recollects her mother.
They had planned to visit her grand parents since it was a long weekend. It was a pure stroke of luck that the trip got cancelled and Monali was sent to school. The eye test made them realize that she could not see well with her right eye.
Monali’s detailed Eye Test by Pediatric Ophthalmologist
An Internet search for a pediatric ophthalmologist in Mumbai brought them to Dr. Prachi Agashe. Dr. Prachi did a thorough evaluation of the eyes which included vision checks, binocular vision check up and squint evaluation.
She had 6/6 vision which is Normal vision in her left eye. But in her right eye, her vision was only finger counting till they were brought 3 metres in front of her right eye.
Her check up for eye powers was done using specific drops. This eye test revealed that she had a power of +3.00 in the right eye and 0.00 power in the left eye. “I was shocked. How did she have such poor eyesight in one eye without any of us realising?” Monali’s mother still remembers how she still has a tough time believing the results.
Due to the unequal spectacle power, Monali’s brain had stopped perceiving images from the right eye which led to that eye becoming lazy and non-functional. Dr. Prachi Agashe explained to Monali’s parents how this laziness of the eye is called amblyopia and this particular type is called anisometropic amblyopia.
Retraining Monali’s brain
Dr. Prachi advised glasses for Monali’s right eye followed by patching exercises. Patching exercise involves closing the good eye to force the lazy eye to work and in turn train the brain to recognise images from both the eyes. Once the vision started improving she was switched over to the newer dichoptic exercises.
Dichoptic therapy works on the principle of making each eye perceive slightly dissimilar images. This helps improve binocular fusion of her eyes. It means that the visual cells in her brain were trained to fuse these images and perceive them simultaneously and as being single.
Following therapy with glasses and exercises for 6 to 8 months, it was time for Monali to have her eye test again. The results showed that the sight in her right eye has restored. Monali’s parents’ joy knew no bounds. “I was so worried that Monali would lose sight in her right eye” said her mother. “I am really thankful for that fluke eye test at school and to Dr. Prachi for giving back my child’s sight.”
When asked if she would like to share any message with other parents, Monali’s mother says, “Oh yes, absolutely. Monali just got lucky. But your child shouldn’t have to depend on luck. Please get your child’s eyes checked even if s/he does not complain of any eye trouble. I never thought it was necessary, but it is as important as the routine vaccinations.”
Dr. Prachi Agashe is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist in Mumbai, consulting at Agashe Paediatric SuperSpecciality Care at Kurla. If you too would like to have an eye screening conducted for your child or your child’s school, do feel free to get in touch with Agashe Paediatric SuperSpeciality Care via email: email@example.com or call 022 42435000