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Being Mum Lifestyle Parenting

All about the eyes

Last Wednesday we went to Great Ormond Street Hospital again, I’m beginning to know that journey now from train to hospital without taking out my phone for navigation. The plan for the day was to attend Ariella’s ophthalmology appointment, this really was just to get a good overall picture of any problems going on and covering all the bases. I haven’t had any concerns about her eyes for a while now, she did have a squint when she was younger and her eyes were checked to be okay.

Knowing it would be quite a long wait and the appointment was around lunch time, I decided to take Ariella for some lunch at Burger King. She doesn’t get it very often, usually if we are at a service station on our way somewhere distant. She had never had a chicken nugget up until this point, I feel I probably should have rectified this situation sooner and made her a homemade version.

Ariella enjoying a chicken nugget children’s meal in Burger King

GOSH does have a play area which is a marked improvement compared to the last hospital we went to however last time Ariella was only six months old and really would just fall asleep in the stroller. I remember taking this photo last time, they use drops to dilate the eyes and for ages they really can’t see very well. It was such a different experience this time around as Ariella was more alert, she wanted to play and watching her try to navigate her iPad after the drops was quite intriguing. She would bring her face really close to the screen and take much longer to try to decide what to press, I think it must have been very confusing for her.

Ariella six months old after her first eye test

After about an hour arriving Ariella was called in to see the optician, who tested her eyes with games. The games were far more interesting this time around and consisted of large cards with one basic outline of an image (like a boat or house). Ariella was to look at the image which was in varying locations on the big card held up. She did these very well and quickly went through the cards.

They also had some neat little light up torches in the shape of animals, the light is directed at the eyes and the animals keep the children distracted. On this part of the check there was nothing to note, Ariella seemed to be using both eyes okay although she wouldn’t let me cover her eyes very long to complete this task. Next we were directed back out into the waiting area to have some eye drops popped into Ariella’s eyes to dilate them enough so that the Ophthalmologist can see the back of the eye. Each stage involved quite a wait, I think we probably waited another thirty minutes before we were called to have the drops put in. When the nurse did this she warned me that they might sting, however Ariella didn’t cry or notice the drops at all. The nurse was quite shocked, although it didn’t surprise me too much.

Once again we were sent out to the waiting area to wait for the final consultation, after a little while we were called again. By this point we had been waiting for three hours and although I came prepared with the iPad even this was wearing thin with Ariella. She was tired, it was late afternoon and she had only napped briefly on the train journey in. We had left home at 10:30 and were still “out” at 15:30, very out of routine for her. She coped marvellously up until this point, with the carrier, playing and not having any kind of tantrum. However her patience was wearing thin and I couldn’t blame her. We entered the room and the Ophthalmologist had Ariella’s MRI results up on his screen, he quickly checked Ariella’s eyes and said that there was no sign of Hydrocephalus which is the main concern for him. The extra fluid for children with this can apply pressure on the optical nerves.

All in the result was, mild astigmatism in both eyes but nothing to be concern about. We will need to keep an eye on it but it’s not something we need to go into hospital for. Both of us have a little bit of astigmatism so I wasn’t concerned. We don’t have to go back to that Ophthalmologist again, sounds good to me!

Sleepy toddler on the train.