Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye is the deficiency in central vision development caused by the failure of both eyes to work together. With the majority of cases of ambylopia the eyes themselves are typically in good health however good vision cannot be achieved by just glasses. When not treated lazy eye can result in serious visual impairment, including blindness in that eye.
Amblyopia is the most frequently diagnosed vision disorder in children. Usually beginning as an infant developmental issue, the condition can be challenging to diagnose. Early diagnosis and treatment increase the chances of complete vision restoration. Treatment is usually faster and more effective for those who start before adolescence.
Therefore it is crucial to have your child’s vision tested early on in development. The American Optometric Association recommends that children receive a complete eye exam at the age of six months and again by age three.
What are the Causes of Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)?
Amblyopia occurs when the eyes or visual system do not function in unison. One common cause is strabismus, an imbalance in the location of the eyes. Such misalignment results in eyes that cross in (estropia) or turn out (exotropia) and therefore aren’t able to work together. Amblyopia can also be caused by a condition where one eye is more nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic than the other eye. This condition is called anisometropia. On occasion, amblyopia is caused by other eye conditions such as cataracts or another anatomical problem.
Treatment for lazy eye is directed at attaining proper binocular vision. In addition to wearing prescription lenses, one of the most common approaches requires strengthening the weaker eye by prohibiting the use of the good eye. A few treatment options exist to occlude the stronger eye and the treatment is selected according to the individual situation and a consultation with an optometrist.
Very often doctors will prescribe a patch used to occlude the strong eye. The patient is then forced to use the weak eye, which stimulates proper sight in the weaker eye and assists the visual system in the brain develop properly. Nevertheless this treatment greatly depends on cooperation with wearing the patch, which can be a factor particularly in the case of children.
An alternative to patching is the use of a drug called atropine. When a drop of atropine is applied to the good eye, this will temporarily impair the sight to stimulate the patient to use the other eye.
Other treatment options include vision therapy also known as orthoptics to help the eyes to work together as a team and sometimes a surgical procedure to straighten out the alignment of the eyes. Specialized contacts or other aides to improve visual acuity are also sometimes used.
Because lazy eye involves a problem with the vision process, younger patients often experience more success with treatment. Nevertheless, there have been many instances where older patients were successfully treated and therefore anyone who thinks they or their child has amblyopia should schedule an appointment immediately with their eye doctor If you are in need of lazy eye treatment in Fayetteville, NC, be in touch to book an appointment. The sooner proper diagnosis and treatment are underway, the sooner we can help repair your sight!