In order to have proper eyesight, the eyes need to function together with each other and with the brain. In instances when this process doesn’t function properly, a condition called amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, can result. In most cases of ambylopia the actual eyes are usually healthy however the condition is not correctable by just the use of prescription glasses. If untreated lazy eye can cause serious visual disability, even loss of sight in the affected eye.
Amblyopia is the most frequently diagnosed cause of sight impairment in childhood. Because it typically starts as an early childhood developmental problem, the disorder can be challenging to diagnose. Unless it is successfully treated at an early age, the likelihood of complete vision restoration is limited. Those that don’t start to be treated until adolescence or adulthood frequently find that it takes longer and is less effective.
This is why it is crucial to have your child’s eyes and vision tested at an early age. According to the AOA (American Optometric Association) children should receive a comprehensive optometric examination at six months and again by three years of age.
Causes of Amblyopia
Lazy eye 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. Sometimes amblyopia is caused when the eyes have different levels of acuity. This is the result of a condition called anisometropia. Occasionally, amblyopia is caused by other optical diseases such as cataracts or some other anatomical problem.
How is Lazy Eye Treated?
Amblyopia is treated by measures to attain normal visual acuity to both eyes. In addition to using prescription eyeglasses or contacts, one of the most common approaches entails making the child use the eye with the reduced vision. A few treatment options exist to occlude the good eye and the treatment plan is chosen according to the patient’s circumstances and the decision of the eye care professional.
Frequently doctors will prescribe a patch used to cover the good eye. A patch forces the patient to use the weaker eye, which stimulates vision in the weak eye and assists the visual processing system to develop properly. However this treatment is dependent upon cooperation with wearing the patch, which can be a factor especially in the case of children.
Some eye care professionals decide to use a drug known as atropine. When applied to the stronger eye, atropine drops impair the vision and therefore force the patient to prefer the weaker eye.
Occasionally patients can be treated by vision devices alone, such as prescription glasses or contact lenses that restore vision to each eye, yet this is rare. Further, vision therapy to teach the eyes to function as a team or in some cases a surgical procedure might also be options.
Because lazy eye involves a problem with the vision process, younger patients often show more success with treatment. Still, there are many factors that are involved and therefore anyone who suspects they or their child has amblyopia should consult as soon as possible with their optometrist If you are looking for amblyopia management in Fairfax, VA, contact us to book a visit. Lazy eye won’t get better on its own so don’t delay in starting to restore your vision!
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