Toddler gets life-changing treatment for strabismus

A mother smiles at her daughter who is wearing an eye patch to treat her strabismus
Written by Caroline Wagner, published on January 26, 2023 Sign up for eNews

Thanks to her determined mom, two-year-old Venus is getting treatment for an eye condition that could have caused her irreversible vision loss.

The cheerful toddler was born in 2020, the same year her parents moved back to their home village after widespread lockdowns in India were announced. The little girl was thriving under the care of her extended family when her mother Priyanka noticed that Venus’s eyes were not symmetrical.

It’s a common belief that strabismus, the condition that causes someone’s eyes to point in different directions, goes away on its own. However, children rarely outgrow the condition without treatment. Priyanka wasn’t willing to wait and see.

She worried about the stigma that her little girl would face due to the misalignment of her eyes, knowing she’d be teased by classmates. She also wondered how the condition would affect her daughter’s vision, and consequently, her education and her future.

So when she took Venus in for a routine check-up at the government hospital, Priyanka asked about her daughter’s eyes but was told that there was no treatment for eye conditions at the facility. Priyanka became more and more concerned, worrying that the eye condition would affect Venus’s schooling and professional life.

A smiling toddler is held by her mother. The little girl has a patch over her right eye.
That smile! Venus seems unbothered by the eye patch she wears to treat her strabismus.

When a community health worker from the nearby Khanapur Vision Centre knocked on the family’s door, Priyanka had her daughter examined. The health worker identified Venus’s eye condition as strabismus and said that it needed to be treated as quickly as possible. Venus got a referral to the vision centre where an optometrist explained that the little girl’s eye condition could be treated with simple procedures at our partner hospital, the MM Joshi Eye Institute in Hubli, just a few hours away.

Priyanka took Venus to the hospital, where she started undergoing patch therapy. Now, Priyanka is thrilled to see the improvements in her daughter’s eye condition.            

Vision is a basic human right. Through door-to-door community outreach in remote villages combined with counselling and health education, every single child, woman and man in a community can be reached. Learn more about our unique approach by signing up for our newsletter.