AMBLYOPIA (LAZY EYE)
Amblyopia or also known as lazy eye is when the vision of one of your eyes didn’t develop the way it should. This is often caused by abnormal visual development early in life. If not treated, the brain will learn to ignore the image from the weak or “lazy” eye, which could cause a permanent vision problem.
This condition usually occurs in children that develop from birth up to 7 years of age. It is also important to note that laziness is different from cross-eye. The risk of developing a lazy eye in a child is if he/she is born prematurely, has a developmental delay, or has a family history of lazy eyes.
The most common symptoms of this condition include:
· A tendency to bump unto objects
· An eye that wanders inward or outward
· Eyes that don’t seem to work together
· Double vision
· Misalignment of the eyes
· Poor depth perception and peripheral vision
There are three known causes of lazy eye, these are:
· Strabismus – This is another eye condition that causes misalignment of the eye. People with this condition cannot focus their eyes together on the image, they often see double.
· Refractive error – this condition is also known as refractive amblyopia, where poor visual development is caused by a difference in the amount of refractive error in the eyes. The patient may have the correct eye alignment but one eye may experience nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism while the other eye has none of these conditions.
· Obstruction of vision – also known as deprivation amblyopia, this condition is due to the obstruction of light from the eye which prevents visual development. This can often be caused by:
o Droopy eyelids (ptosis)
o Cataracts (cloudy lens)
o Scar in the cornea
Treatment for lazy eye focuses on getting the nonworking eye to work more actively. A lazy eye should also be treated in early childhood to prevent permanent damage. But depending on the cause, treatment may involve the following:
· Eye patch – this is the standard treatment method for lazy eye, an eye patch is placed on the stronger eye to force the weaker eye to function and restore the brain’s attention to its visual input. This would then allow proper visual development in the weaker eye
· Corrective lenses and glasses – vision restoration is achieved with these correcting glasses, especially when dealing with lazy eye due to refractive error
· Atropine eye drops – similar to the patch method, the eye drops are given to the stronger eye to temporarily weaken its vision. This will then restore the connection between the brain and the weaker eye.
· Surgery – surgery on the muscles of the eye might be required with lazy eye due to strabismus, or if a cataract is blocking the light to enter the eye
Whichever method of treatment is used, vision can usually start to improve in a few weeks but takes months to achieve the best results. Also, treatment may be needed for a longer period of time to prevent the condition from coming back.
Seek a medical professional that is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Choose the right ophthalmologist to help you guide your treatment plan. Let our doctors at Doral Health and Wellness care for your visual needs. To book an appointment, please visit or call us at 347-868-1060.