Jack had his third appointment at Sunderland Eye Hospital this week. The purpose was to check his eyes and sight are developing as they should, and check whether he needs glasses.
We saw two doctors – the first checked Jack’s vision using Teller acuity cards. These ones were grey, with white pictures (cars, boats, planes) either at the top or bottom. On each set of cards the white lines got thinner and thinner, and the test ended when Jack could no longer see the picture. The results were similar to those at Leicester, with his eyes a little under average for his age at present, and no glasses required yet.
The second doctor summarised the results of the Teller acuity card tests and asked about Jack’s progress. I said he seems to be doing very well and we’ve not noticed anything he cannot do because of his eyes yet (it certainly doesn’t stop him climbing out of his cot and runnig away at any opportunity he gets at the moment!) He’s recently started back at nursery one day a week and so far his teachers have said he’s progressing the same as other children his age.
Over the past three months we’ve noticed that his head shakes a little if he’s trying to focus on something but this usually only lasts a few minutes at a time. The Doctor advised this is part of the process of him finding his null point (the null point being the place his eyes are stillest and he can see best from). Dad and I thought that Jack’s null point was central and that that’s how it would probably stay but the Doctor said he could see a head down position emerging (he could see within the first few minutes that Jack is currently looking slightly up from centre to get the best viewpoint).
The Doctor went on to say that one of the next things we’ll notice about Jack’s development is when he starts reading he’ll hold books much closer than we do. He’ll also sit much closer to the TV to watch it. This is because his eye movement will slow down the closer something is to his face so he’ll be able to see more easily. He said it’s important to let him do what works best for him, and be pro-active to ensure others such as teachers know to, and do, the same.
The Doctor was very interested to hear how our Leicester appointments went. He is keen to keep up to date with the latest developments in nystagmus and has met both Professor Gotlobb and Dr Hertle (he was actually at a conference with Dr Hertle last week!). I came away from the appointment feeling positive. There will be challenges ahead, but we are in good hands.