Olivia was having trouble focusing on images and began to complain that it was hard to see.
Because Olivia’s father also has amblyopia, he recognized some of her symptoms: she turned her head to the side to watch television, ran outside with her head turned to the side, and favored one eye while focusing on a task. Her parents had her vision checked at the pediatrician’s office, and they were referred to Dr. John Erickson, pediatric optometrist, at Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville.
After Olivia’s first visit with Dr. Erickson, she was asked to participate in a clinical study for amblyopia. She began a 64-week study to see how patching, along with glasses, affects treatment and if starting the two together would change the progress speed.
Olivia’s mom says, “We have been more than impressed with the patience and compassion of both Dr. Erickson and his staff. Dr. Erickson’s research nurse Jennifer Gafford and technician Jade went above and beyond to make Olivia feel special, important, and safe. They made our long appointments (sometimes two hours) fun and easy. Olivia was excited on appointment day, and I attribute that to the loving atmosphere they each created.”
After two rounds of patching (around 30 weeks overall), Olivia’s corrected eyesight is back to 20/20, and she is excited to be done wearing her patches. She is also glad to be a part of the study that will help kids in the future.
“Her dad and I feel confident that she received the absolute best care and are glad we were referred to Nemours when we were. She will see Dr. Erickson annually, and we hope for an amazing future,” says Olivia’s mom.
“For parents about to embark on this same journey, I would tell them to make a point to show their child that wearing a patch is a great way to educate others. We made sure Olivia understood what her condition is and how wearing a patch would help correct her sight. Once she knew what it all meant, she was happy to share with anyone who asked, and that helped her be more confident even with the attention wearing an eye patch brought.”