Amblyopia

 

What is the Condition?

Amblyopia is also known as a “lazy eye.”   It describes weak vision in one or both eyes that may not be completely corrected with glasses or contact lenses.  A lazy eye occurs when the eyes are not completely developed during early childhood.  If amblyopia is detected early enough through regular childhood eye exams, it can be treated and prevent permanent vision loss.  However, if it is ignored or not treated early enough, there is a possibility of vision loss in the affected eye.

 

What are the symptoms of this condition?

 
  • Reduced depth perception
  • Poor vision or uncorrected vision in either one or both eyes
  • Misaligned eyes or an eye turn
  • Squinting, tilting the head or closing one eye to see
  • Headaches or eye strain

What are the Risk Factors for Developing this Condition?

Some of the risk factors include:

  • Strabismus or an eye turn
  • Congential glaucoma or cataract
  • Anything that blocks the child's pupils
  • Certain genetic disorders 
  • Different prescriptions between the eyes

How is this Condition Treated?

The best way to treat this condition is by forcing the patient to use their "bad" eye. This can be done by covering the better eye with a patch or using dilation eye drops to force the amblyopic eye to work on its own. This helps strengthen the bad eye, by forcing it to visually focus on its own while the other eye is temporarily covered.

It is in the best interest of your child to have their eyes examined at an early age and get them checked for amblyopia.  If it is detected early, there are several treatment options can be used until their vision is completely developed.