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My 11 yr. old son wakes up in the middle of the night crying and covering his eyes.  He says that everything is getting big and small.  I don't know what it is and I have told the eye doctor and he says that he has astigmatism.  I don't think that this is the problem.  Does anyone know what it is?


Hi elcricz,

I'm going under the assumption that this is an eye problem.  Does he complain about this during the day as well?  It is not some form of "bad dream?"  Sometimes, things appear bigger when we're scared or anxious.

You say "eye doctor."  Do you mean an opthamologist?  I ask because a lot of people consider opticians or optometrists to be "eye doctors" and they are not.

I'd suggest you start with a thorough eye exam, just to rule out any problems.  The exam should include dilation of the eye, putting drops in to open the iris, so that the optic nerves, blood vessels, etc., can be examined. 

There are also some studies that show that visual disturbances, when dark, can be caused by myopia, or near sightedness.  Does your son wear eyeglasses during the day?

Hope it helps.


Thanks for the information medic-dan. My son does wear glasses for astigmatism. I thought this was the problem but I did some research and the symptoms are not the same. I will explain a little about him. He was a preemie and when he was four he started to withhold his urine and feces to the point he got sick, in the hospital. He is emotionally disturbed and still suffers with his stomach but this eye thing is really trippin him out. I don't know what to tell him when he say "What is wrong with me,Daddy?" I just tell him he is iust fine and that like all people he can't be perfect. I will get him to get the Eye exam and I guess we will go from there. I appreciate the information. Thank you!


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I'm 71 and I can do that at will but only with one eye at a time. I have to close one to be able to do it. I've always felt it was kind of fun to do it. I haven't done it in years so I just tried it and I still can. I found it was not very useful because my eye is not in good focus when I do it and of course there is no depth perception due to using only one eye.

I quite sure it's not related to the astigmatism as I have that also. I think nearly everyone does as it's caused by the lens not being perfectly shaped and how many of us have perfect anythings? I have to wear glasses to correct that. Actually, by pressing on the edge of my eyes near the bridge of my nose I can bend the lens to nearly correct the astigmatism.

If he has no control over it so he can't stop it, I can see where it would be very upsetting. I was about 5 when they took me to an eye doc who put drops in my eyes. The fact that I couldn't focus my eyes for the rest of the day was very disconcerting for me and I refused to go to an eye doc again until I was old enough to understand I had the right to say NO about what was being done to my body. That wasn't until I was an adult and living on my own.

Because I can do it at will, I feel it must have to do with the muscles that control the eye.