Amblyopia / “Lazy Eye”

Amblyopia / “Lazy Eye”
Amblyopia occurs when the brain favors optical signals from one eye over the other. Therefore, it results in the ‘lazy eye’ condition resulting in reduced vision of the subservient eye.


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Strabismus is commonly associated with amblyopia, and is commonly known as an “eye turn” - this is a condition in which the eyes cannot align simultaneously, thus causing one or both eyes to be turned in or out, and/or up or down. There are many different types of strabismus, but not all of them result in amblyopia. 

Your Optometrist can identify strabismus and/or amblyopia in a comprehensive eye exam, and discuss treatment options such as prism glasses, vision therapy, and potentially surgery.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

This condition is very common in children, and symptoms may be difficult to distinguish from other visual conditions. At least 2-3 out of every 100 children are affected by this. It must be treated in early childhood, otherwise the condition persists into adulthood. If not treated early, the eyes may never achieve normal visual acuity, even with the assistance of contacts or prescribed glasses.

The causes of amblyopia include any number of conditions impairing normal visual development. One of the many causes includes a condition called strabismus, which is an imbalance in the way both eyes are positioned. On the other hand, if one eye is more astigmatic, farsighted or nearsighted than the other, amblyopia may result from it.  

Non-surgical treatment – Amblyopia can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. Almost all forms of what is considered a “normal” astigmatism can be treated and corrected with contact lenses and glasses that are prescribed to the patient. Irregular astigmatism is less common and affects the cornea. It can be treated through application of gas permeable contact lenses or cornea related procedures.

Medication – The doctor may prescribe atropine containing eye drops that will temporarily blur out the vision of the dominant eye. This is a harmless procedure so your brain gradually starts favoring your lazy eye.

Eye patch –This is a method commonly used in children. An eye patch is placed on his/her dominant eye until the amblyopia is cured. This procedure forces the use of lazy eye since the dominant eye can’t see.  

Non-surgical treatment – Amblyopia can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. Almost all forms of what is considered a “normal” astigmatism can be treated and corrected with contact lenses and glasses that are prescribed to the patient. Irregular astigmatism is less common and affects the cornea. It can be treated through application of gas permeable contact lenses or cornea related procedures. 

Medication – The doctor may prescribe atropine containing eye drops that will temporarily blur out the vision of the dominant eye. This is a harmless procedure so your brain gradually starts favoring your lazy eye.

Patching –This is a method commonly used in children. An eye patch is placed on his/her dominant eye until the amblyopia is cured. This procedure forces the use of the lazy eye since the dominant eye can’t see.

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