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What is Lazy Eye?

In order to have optimal eyesight, it is necessary for the eyes to operate in cooperation with each other and with the brain. In instances when this does not happen, a condition called amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, can occur. In most instances of lazy eye the eyes themselves are typically healthy however the condition can not be corrected by just the use of prescription lenses. If untreated amblyopia can result in severe visual impairment, including loss of sight in that eye.

Amblyopia is the most frequently diagnosed cause of visual impairment in children. Usually beginning in the developmental stages of infancy, the disorder can be difficult to diagnose. Unless it is adequately treated at an early age, the likelihood of full recovery is limited. Those that dont start treatment until adolescence or adulthood often find that it can take far longer and is less effective.

This is why it is crucial to have your childs vision checked early on in development. The American Optometric Association suggests that children have a complete optometric examination by the age of six months and again at age three.

Causes of Amblyopia

Amblyopia may be the result of a number of conditions that affect typical eye and vision development. The most common cause is strabismus, a condition where the eyes are improperly aligned. Such misalignment can cause the eyes to cross in (esotropia) or turn out (exotropia) and therefore arent able to work together. Lazy eye can also be caused by a condition where the eyes have different levels of acuity. This condition is called anisometropia. On occasion, amblyopia is caused by other optical conditions such as cataracts or another pathological impairment.

How is Lazy Eye Treated?

Treatment for lazy eye is directed at attaining normal binocular vision. In addition to using prescription eyeglasses or contacts, one of the most common approaches requires strengthening the weaker eye by limiting the use of the better eye. A few treatment options exist to achieve this and the treatment is prescribed according to the individual situation andthe decision of the optometrist.

Very often you will see patching, where a patch is worn to cover the good eye. A patch compels the patient to use the weaker eye, which promotes proper sight in the weaker eye and helps the visual processing system to develop properly. However this treatment greatly depends on cooperation of the patient to use the patch, which can be a factor especially with children.

Some eye doctors choose to use atropine. When placed in the good eye, atropine drops temporarily obscure the vision to force the use of the weaker eye.

Other treatment options include vision therapy also known as orthoptics to assist the eyes to coordinate with each other and sometimes surgery to realign the eyes. Special contacts or other aides to achieve better vision are also sometimes tried.

Since amblyopia is the result of a problem with the vision process, younger patients often experience more success with treatment. However, there have been many instances in which older patients were successfully treated and therefore anyone who thinks they or their child has amblyopia should consult immediately with their eye doctor If you are looking for lazy eye treatment in Troy, AL, contact us to schedule an appointment. The sooner accurate diagnosis and treatment are underway, the sooner we can help repair your eyesight!