Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye is the lack of central vision development due to the failure of the two eyes to work together. In the majority of occurrences of ambylopia the eyes themselves are usually in good health yet the condition is not correctable by just glasses. When not treated appropriately lazy eye can result in severe visual disability, including blindness in the affected eye.
Lazy eye is the most common cause of sight impairment in childhood. Because it typically starts as an infant developmental issue, the disorder can be challenging to detect. The sooner a diagnosis is made and treatment begins the greater the possibility of complete vision restoration. Treatment usually works faster and more effectively for patients who start before adolescence.
Therefore it is important to have your child’s vision checked early on in development. According to the AOA (American Optometric Association) children should receive a complete eye examination by the age of half a year and again by age three.
Causes of Lazy Eye
Lazy eye occurs when the eyes or visual system do not function in unison. The most common cause is strabismus, an imbalance in the location of the eyes. Strabismus can cause the eyes to cross in (esotropia) 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 is the result of a condition called anisometropia. On occasion, amblyopia is the result of other optical diseases such as cataracts or another anatomical impairment.
Treatment for Amblyopia
Amblyopia is treated by measures to restore optimal vision to both eyes. In addition to using prescription lenses, one of the most common approaches requires strengthening the weaker eye by inhibiting the use of the stronger. There are a number of options to occlude the better eye and the treatment is prescribed depending on the individual situation and the decision of the eye care professional.
Very often you will see patching, where a patch is used to cover the better eye. The patient is then forced to use the weak eye, which promotes proper sight in the underdeveloped eye and helps the visual system in the brain develop more completely. Nevertheless success with patching largely depends on compliance of the patient to wear the patch, which can be a problem especially with children.
Some eye doctors decide to use atropine. When placed in the good eye, atropine drops temporarily impair the vision and therefore stimulate the patient to use the weaker eye.
Some vision can be improved by vision aides alone, such as prescription glasses or contact lenses that restore vision to each eye, however this is rare. Further, vision therapy to teach the eyes to operate as a team or in some cases a surgical procedure might also be suggested.
Because amblyopia is the result of a disruption in the visual process, the younger the age of treatment, the more chance there is of success. Nevertheless, there have been many cases where teenage patients completed successful treatment and therefore anyone who suspects they or their child has amblyopia should schedule an appointment immediately with their eye doctor If you are looking for lazy eye treatment in Manasquan, NJ, be in touch to book an appointment. Amblyopia won’t heal itself so don’t wait to start treatment to repair your eyesight!