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From Puryear, Tennessee, USA:

My son was diagnosed with diabetes in July 2005. Before his diagnosis, his doctor stressed concern for his eyesight in his right eye. We did not have the opportunity to get him to an optometrist before his diagnosis. Now that all is settled in our new life style, I have taken him for an examination by an ophthalmologist. His vision was 20/40 in one eye and 20/50 in the other.

After a full examination, the doctor says it is unrelated to his diabetes and this was been a progressive problem. He often referred to "lazy eye." His prescribed glasses look very thick although I am sure it is more noticeable to mom that others. Do you think I was okay in doing this now? I know they said high blood sugars caused blurriness, but we have his blood sugars mostly in control. I am afraid I am going to cause my son more damage if he did not need these glasses and they difference is from these diabetic problems we are trying to control now. What should I do? Should I wait on the glasses or go with the doctor's prescription? Dealing with the diabetes is enough on my child right now, I hate to add glasses on top of everything else.


Based on the information you have provided, your child has amblyopia, for which condition "lazy eye" is an unfortunate euphemism. Amblyopia is reduced vision in one or both eyes for non-organic reasons (i.e., no eye disease) and is almost always due to a high prescription (especially in one eye more than the other) and/or eyes that don't align with each other (strabismus). Amblyopia has nothing to do with diabetes. It is pure coincidence and it is the leading cause of reduced vision in children. It is of paramount importance that any child with amblyopia have his prescription corrected by wearing appropriate glasses or contact lenses on a full-time basis. Failure to do so makes the problem much more difficult to correct later in life and usually results in permanent reduced vision. It's absolutely okay to get a second opinion (preferably from a pediatric optometrist or ophthalmologist), but if your child has amblyopia the best thing you can do for him is to make sure he wears his glasses.


Original posting 21 Sep 2005
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