Gary is a 13 year old young man with Down’s Syndrome.  He is very nearsighted.  His parents had taken him to many eye doctors over many years, but NONE had ever prescribed glasses that Gary would wear.  His parents and teachers had tried everything to convince him to wear them, because they understand that without them, he lives in a very blurry world, but Gary would consistently take off his glasses as soon as they were not looking!

When I examined Gary, I also found high myopia, but much greater in the left eye.  The prescription he was wearing was -4.00 right eye and -10.00 left eye.  He also has a large left esotropia (the eye turns inward).  Even with the -10.00 lens, Gary has very reduced vision in that eye, probably from a variety of causes (retinal changes associated with “pathological” myopia and amblyopia).  The visual acuity of the left eye did not improve noticeably when the power of the lens was increased from -4.00 to -10.00.  What the -10.00 lens DID do was create optical disturbances such as minification, parallax and aberrations.  It seemed to me that the only thing Gary gained from wearing the full power lens on the left eye was discomfort.  And the degree of discomfort must have been so great that preferred to take the glasses off and live in a world where everything beyond 10 inches was blurred.

I changed the prescription to -4.00 in the right eye and a “balance” lens in the left eye, meaning anything close to -4.00, so it is cosmetically the same as the right eye.  With this prescription, I was hoping that Gary would be more comfortable; comfortable enough to wear the glasses, so that he could benefit from better vision in both eyes.  The prescription for the left eye does not maximize his visual acuity; nor does it give his visual system the opportunity to achieve a better visual acuity.  Instead, the balance lens gives his left eye an opportunity to contribute to an enhanced visual experience by allowing the 2 eyes to work together with clarity, comfort and better integration of his central and peripheral vision.

Gary loves his glasses.  The End.

p.s. Let this be a beginning.  Schedule your child for a comprehensive vision examination. Find a doctor here.