For optimal eyesight, the eyes and the brain must operate together. When this system breaks down, a condition called amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, can result. With most occurrences of ambylopia the eyes themselves are typically in good health however the condition is not correctable by just glasses. If untreated amblyopia can cause severe visual disability, including blindness in the affected eye.
Lazy eye is the most common vision disorder in children. Usually beginning as an infant developmental problem, the condition can be challenging to discern. Unless it is successfully treated early on, the likelihood of full vision restoration is diminished. Patients that don’t begin treatment until adolescence or adulthood often find that it takes much longer and is less effective.
Therefore it is crucial to have your child’s eyes tested early on in development. According to the AOA (American Optometric Association) children should receive a comprehensive eye examination at half a year and another by three years of age.
What Causes Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)?
Amblyopia can be caused by a number of conditions that affect normal development of the visual system or use of the eyes. One common cause is strabismus, a condition where the eyes are not properly aligned. 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. On occasion, amblyopia is caused by other optical diseases such as cataracts or some other structural cause.
How is Amblyopia Treated?
Treating lazy eye aims to achieve proper binocular vision. Along with the use of prescription eyeglasses or contacts, one of the most common approaches entails strengthening the weaker eye by prohibiting the use of the better eye. A few treatment options exist to do this and the treatment is prescribed based on the individual circumstances and a consultation with an eye care professional.
Frequently you will see a patch used to cover the strong eye. A patch compels the patient to use the weaker eye, which stimulates proper sight in the underdeveloped eye and helps the visual system in the brain develop more completely. Nevertheless success using a patch is dependent upon compliance of the patient to use the patch, which can be difficult with many children.
An alternative to patching is the use of a drug known as atropine. When placed in the good eye, atropine drops obscure the vision to force the use of the other eye.
Occasionally vision can be improved by vision aides alone, such as prescription glasses or contacts that restore vision to each eye, yet this is not usually the case. Additionally, vision therapy to train the eyes to function as a team or in some cases a surgical procedure might also be options.
Because lazy eye is caused by a disruption in the vision process, younger patients often experience more success with treatment. Still, there are many factors that are involved and therefore anyone who thinks they or their child has lazy eye should consult as soon as possible with their eye doctor If you are looking for lazy eye treatment in Kenosha, WI, contact us to book an appointment. Amblyopia won’t get better on its own so don’t delay in starting to repair your sight!