Amblyopia or lazy eye is the lack of central vision development caused by the inability of both eyes to function in unison. With the majority of occurrences of ambylopia the actual eyes are usually healthy however visual acuity cannot be achieved by just glasses. If not treated lazy eye can cause serious visual impairment, even blindness in one eye.
Amblyopia is the most common vision disorder in children. Usually beginning as an early childhood developmental issue, the disorder can be difficult to discern. The sooner a diagnosis is made and treatment starts the greater the likelihood of complete vision restoration. Those that don’t start to be treated until adolescence or adulthood don’t typically find as successful results as those who begin treatment when they are young.
Therefore it is important to have your child’s eyes tested early on in development. According to the AOA (American Optometric Association) children should receive a comprehensive optometric exam at half a year and again when the child turns three.
Causes of Amblyopia
Amblyopia may be the result of any condition that affects typical eye and vision development. The most common cause is strabismus, an imbalance in the positioning 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 the eyes have different levels of acuity. This is the result of a condition called anisometropia. Occasionally, lazy eye is caused by other optical diseases such as a cataract or another structural impairment.
How is Lazy Eye Treated?
Treatment for amblyopia is directed at attaining proper binocular vision. In addition to using prescription lenses, one of the most common approaches requires strengthening the weaker eye by inhibiting the use of the stronger. A few treatment options exist to occlude the good eye and the treatment is chosen according to the patient’s circumstances and a consultation with an eye care professional.
Very often doctors will prescribe a patch used to be worn over the better eye. A patch compels the patient to use the weaker eye, which promotes vision in the underdeveloped eye and helps the visual system in the brain develop more completely. Nevertheless success with patching largely depends on compliance with wearing the patch, which can be difficult particularly with children.
Some optometrists choose to use atropine. When placed in the better eye, atropine drops temporarily obscure the sight to stimulate the use of the weaker eye.
Other treatment options include vision therapy or orthoptics to assist the eyes to work together as a team and sometimes surgery to straighten out the alignment of the eyes. Special contacts or other sight aides are also sometimes tried.
Since lazy eye is caused by a disruption in the visual process, the younger the age of treatment, the more chance there is of improvement. Still, there are many factors that are involved and therefore anyone who thinks they or their child has lazy eye should schedule an appointment as soon as possible with their eye doctor If you are in need of lazy eye management in Manchester, CT, contact us to book a visit. The sooner accurate diagnosis and treatment are underway, the sooner we can begin to restore your sight!