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Amy & Arie’s Story

Diagnosed with Amblyopia at age 4

Amy’s daughter Arie was diagnosed with Amblyopia when she was 4 years and 3 months old. Amy said that Arie had always been clumsy and been taken to the optometrist every 12 months since the age of 2. But when her brother was born Amy noticed Arie’s eye kept turning in so she took her to two optometrists before they were given a referral to an ophthalmologist who said that diagnosis so late (it’s usually around 2 years) was uncommon but not unheard of. 

Patching stopped her eyes from hurting

Arie is a resilient kid, she has always been clumsy and yet it wasn’t until she started patching and wearing glasses that her parents realised how much her eyesight had been impacted. She has the words to be able to tell them now that she used to get headaches (and still does when she hasn’t had her glasses on). Arie says that the patching has stopped her eyes from hurting as they now work better together. 

Arie enjoys choosing her patch and sticker for the day

At first Arie wasn’t a fan of the patches but after about a week she started saying she wasn’t getting sore eyes or a sore head anymore. She now enjoys choosing her colour patch and which stickers she will put on them each day and she has luckily moved from daily patching with full time glasses to a few days a week in just under a year.

Arie will probably always need glasses but she says she likes her face with them (which makes Amy happy as a mum)! 

Arie can do everything she loves to do

Arie loves swimming, playing outdoors and drawing. She can do everything she loves to do but knows her limits – she gets a bit wonky and her coordination isn’t the best but she still gives everything a good crack! 

Early screening a must

Amy believes it’s really important that parents utilise optometrists and ophthalmologists more often and earlier. Sometimes the earliest screening tool we have as parents is the maternal and child health nurse visit at 3.5 years but really, more education is needed on what to look for; and basic assessment from 2 years of age.