31 for 21: A Visit to the Ophthalmologist

At Hannah’s 4 month well visit, her pediatrician, Dr. Loomis, suggested that we get Hannah’s first eye exam done sooner rather than later. She recommended a practice very close to where I work; however, they don’t accept my insurance unless there’s a medical reason for the visit. I held off on making an appointment and talked to Dr. Loomis again at the 6 month well visit. She said she really likes that practice but understood if we wanted to go somewhere else, but to make sure they have a panel of patients with Down syndrome.

I called my insurance company to see if they would cover the appointment because Hannah could be predisposed to eye issues but the answer was a quick no. I went ahead and made an appointment and was surprised that they were able to fit us in immediately. I approached the appointment with cautious optimism because Hannah shows no signs of lazy or crossed eyes, vision issues, or congenital cataracts.

The visit itself was actually fun. It was one of the few appointments that ran smoothly and on schedule. We were promptly called back by a tech, who did some quick tests to make sure Hannah was tracking movements and her eyes were responding to the bright light. Then she dilated Hannah’s eyes with drops (only a few resulting tears) and I finished the paperwork while we waited for the drops to activate.

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Within 15-20 minutes we were called back to another exam room where we waited no more than 5 minutes for the ophthalmologist. She used a retinoscope and several lens to check Hannah’s “red reflex,” which allowed her to measure the eyes to check for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Then, the doctor used an indirect ophthalmoscope and condensing lens to check the health of Hannah’s eyes. Hannah didn’t hate the exam but she seemed a little annoyed with the light and changing lens. The doctor employed a light-up, spinning Cinderella and quite a few sound effects to keep Hannah entertained. Of course, I had to hold Hannah’s hands down because anything put in front of her is free game for grabbing.

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I’m happy to report that Hannah’s baby blues are healthy. She is very slightly nearsighted, which shouldn’t be a concern for the next eight to ten years. For now, we can continue with yearly exams and keep our fingers crossed that the eyes stay healthy.

Hands free sitting, by the way!
Hands free sitting, by the way!
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