Oh Say Can You See


That’s me with glasses.

That’s my daughter dying of embarrassment because I decided to wear said glasses in public.

I bribed her to smile for the camera.

Yes, I am that mom.

The one who willingly mortifies her child in public by wearing specs her daughter views as “totally ugly” all in the name of safety.  Believe me; you don’t want to know what would happen if I were to drive without the lenses that help correct my 20/500 vision.

Ironically, that same daughter, who so quickly denounces my looks when I opt to wear glasses instead of contacts, came very close to experiencing life behind plastic spectacles.

When she was two years old, my daughter was sent to a pediatric ophthalmologist after her regular doctor noticed signs of amblyopia or lazy eye.  The condition affects 3% to 5% of children under the age of three.  One of the telltale signs of amblyopia is an eye that drifts or appears crossed in respect to the other eye.  Interestingly though, with amblyopia the eye isn’t the problem; rather, it’s the brain’s wiring that causes the eye to wander.

Lazy eye is by no means a death sentence, but it can harm your child if it goes untreated.  Over time a child’s stronger eye can become dominant and trigger the brain to start ignoring images coming from the weaker eye.  Consequently, the nerve connections leading to the weaker eye become further compromised.  If you ignore your child’s symptoms as a baby, by the time she reaches her 10th birthday, the vision loss in the weaker eye is usually permanent.

Since most doctors don’t conduct vision tests on children until the age of three, it’s important that you pay close attention to your kid’s eyes.  If you notice that your infant or toddler rubs her eyes frequently; suffers from eye redness, swelling, droopy eyelids; has a wandering or crossed eye; is sensitive to light or has an excessive amount of crust or pus coming from her eyes, you should contact your doctor.

My daughter was screened twice by the specialist, and fortunately, it was determined that she wouldn’t need glasses to correct her vision.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that she won’t need lenses in the future.  For now, though, she is content viewing the world with two eyes rather than four… and trying not to be seen in public with her bespectacled mother.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.