We ended up having to go to a pediatric ophthalmologist at the Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin to have her eyes evaluated by a specialist.
Strabismus, or cross or lazy eye, is a serious condition that needs to be dealt with early in order to preserve the vision in the lazy eye. If it is a true lazy eye, the eye that points inward works in the beginning but because the focus is off, the brain only uses the data from the good eye to see… and over time stops using the data from the lazy eye entirely… and then that eye becomes blind. Normal ways of dealing with this include the old standard eye patch, baby glasses with one side frosted out and the new thing – eye drops. The eye drops are put into the good eye to temporarily blind it and that forces the other eye to be used. What happens is the lazy eye muscles are not balanced… and the forced use makes the muscles start working as they should, solving the problem. Also, lazy eye is often genetic, so other family members usually also have this condition.
Pseudostrabismus. Or false lazy or cross eye. As in – she LOOKS like her eyes are off but really they are not.
In false lazy eye, it only appears like her eyes are off… but if you look at the reflection of a light in her eyes – the reflection hits at the same point in each eye. However, this is hard to be sure by a normal (though fantastic) pediatrician who rightly sent us to the specialist. And even the specialist originally thought that Eleanors eyes were off. So, they dilated her eyes, for some reason that helps in determining the lazy eye thing, and again the doc was concerned – at first.
However, after explaining it a bit as to why she didn’t think there was a real problem… prominent eyebrow ridges, very broad nose bridge, large forehead… I joked and said that she meant that Eleanor was a cromagnum baby. :) Those were not the doctors words but… basically – yes. More prominent features that cause the appearance of lazy eye. And a very very large head (which is well documented by our pediatrician – my family just has exceptionally big heads, as in – not ON the growth chart, at all) so we have this lovely lazy eyed appearance. This condition is also more common in Asian populations as they in general tend to have a wider nose bridge.
Doc did say that she would grow out of this and eventually look normal. She is beautiful as she is to be sure, but it is a little disconcerting to see the eyes… but in time, her face will mature and the appearance will lessen and people will only stare at her because of her abject beauty.
Of course, the other HUGE question of the day for me, while I was at the eye specialist.
What color are her eyes?!!!!
Finally, an answer. I’ve stared into her eyes for hours trying to figure it out and just never got a good feel. I’ve never known anyone that had gray eyes and wasn’t even sure it was a real eye color. But it is and E has them and they are beautiful.
Now, my hubs and I are both scientists. We know the genetics involved in getting blue or brown or green eyes. Hubs has brown/green and I have green. Each of us have a parent with blue… Rosie has blue eyes. She had a 25% chance of getting blue eyes from both non-blue parents carrying a recessive allele. But gray?
According to this well written site from Standford, they still don’t know exactly what causes gray eyes. It is an interesting read and has links to more information on other eye colors and why eyes are the colors they are. Really pretty cool – who knew?
So, there you have it. Adventures in pediatric ophthalmology.
Have a lovely Thursday!