Amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, is a condition development disorder of sight that results in decreased vision in an otherwise normal eye.
Symptoms of Amblyopia
Signs or symptoms of amblyopia develop early on. Characteristics of “lazy eye” include an eye that wanders inward or outward, eyes appearing to work separately, and poor depth perception.
Causes and Treatment of Amblyopia
There are three primary causes of amblyopia: Stabismic, Deprivation, and Refractive. Strabismus, an imbalance in eyes’ positioning muscles, which can cause one of both eyes to turn in or outward, is most common. Deprivation occurs when the eye is “deprived” of visual stimulation caused by cataracts or other similar condition. Refractive amblyopia is the result of a significant difference between the vision in each eye.
There are several treatment options for amblyopia. Occlusion (eye patching) is often used to enhance he visual acuity in the amblyopic eye. This forces the use of the weaker eye, enabling it to become stronger. A similar technique is the use of atropine drops to lower the visual acuity of the non-amblyopic eye, which also encourages the use of the weaker eye. Complete vision therapy is also used to treat amblyopia. While using an eye patch or atropine drops is effective in increasing the strength of the amblyopic eye, this technique does not often address the child’s ability to use the two eyes together. In vision therapy, the patient is encouraged to simultaneously use both the amblyopic and unaffected eyes through engaging visual activities.
Regardless of which treatment option is chosen, the treatment should begin as early as possible. If you suspect your child may have amblyopia, please schedule an eye care appointment with us today.