The Lazy (and Anxious) Days of Summer.

by Risa Green

 

If seasons were given titles, then this summer would be, for me, The Summer of My Son’s Issues. Because on top of discovering that he has anxiety, this week I’ve learned that he has a lazy eye. So come to think of it, a better title might be The Lazy (and Anxious) Days of Summer.

 

Now, if you’re like me and every single person I’ve told about this, then the words “lazy eye” are causing you to conjure an image of an eyeball gone wild, rolling around in its socket with no control or self-restraint whatsoever. And if you’ve ever met my son then the first thing you would say to me would be, huh, I never even noticed that before. Which would be correct, because that is not what my son has. What you’re thinking of is a wandering eye (though not the kind that belongs to cheating husbands), or, to use the proper medical terminology, strabismus. A lazy eye, on the other hand (a/k/a amblyopia), is actually not a problem with the eye at all, but rather a problem with the brain; specifically, that the brain doesn’t see what is reflected back to it by one of the eyes. The other eye, however, is fine (20/20 in my son’s case) and so the brain relies on that eye to get all of it’s images, allowing the other eye to become “lazy” because it doesn’t need to do any work. Which, in layman’s terms, means that my son’s spent his entire life walking around half blind. Literally.