For optimal eyesight, the eyes and the brain need to function in unison. In instances when this system breaks down, a condition called amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, can occur. In most cases of lazy eye the actual eyes are usually in good health but the condition is not correctable by just lenses. If not treated amblyopia can result in serious visual impairment, including loss of sight in that eye.
Amblyopia is the most frequently diagnosed cause of sight impairment in childhood. Usually beginning as an early childhood developmental problem, the disorder is often challenging to discern. Unless it is successfully treated early on, the likelihood of complete vision restoration is limited. Treatment usually works faster and more effectively for patients who start before entering pre-teen years.
Therefore it is crucial to have your child’s eyes and vision checked early on in development. The American Optometric Association recommends that children receive a complete optometric exam by the age of six months and again when the child turns three.
Causes of Amblyopia
Amblyopia occurs when the eyes or visual system do not function in unison. 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. Sometimes amblyopia is caused when 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 Lazy Eye
Treating amblyopia is directed at attaining proper binocular vision. In addition to using prescription lenses, one of the most common approaches entails strengthening the weaker eye by occluding the good eye. There are a number of options to occlude the good eye and the treatment is chosen based on the patient’s circumstances and the decision of the eye care professional.
Very often you will see patching, where a patch is used to occlude the good eye. This forces the patient to use the weaker eye, which promotes proper sight in the underdeveloped eye and helps the visual processing system to develop more completely. Nevertheless success using a patch largely depends on cooperation with wearing the patch, which can be a problem particularly with children.
Some eye doctors opt to use atropine. When applied to the stronger eye, atropine drops blur the sight to stimulate the preference of the weaker eye.
Occasionally patients can be treated by vision devices alone, such as prescription glasses or contacts that restore vision to each eye, however this is rare. Additionally, vision therapy to train the eyes to operate as a team or in some cases surgery might also be suggested.
Because amblyopia involves a problem with the vision process, younger patients often show more success with treatment. Nevertheless, there are many factors that are involved and therefore anyone who suspects they or their child has amblyopia should consult immediately with their eye doctor If you are looking for amblyopia treatment in Canton, OH, be in touch to schedule an appointment. The sooner proper diagnosis and treatment are started, the sooner we can begin to repair your eyesight!