Amblyopia/ Lazy Eye
What is Amblyopia?
Amblyopia is poor vision in an eye that did not develop normal sight during early childhood. Sometimes amblyopia is referred to as "lazy eye". When a person develops good vision in one eye and poorer vision in the other eye, the problem eye is referred to as amblyopia. This condition is common, and effects about 2 or 3 out of every 100 persons. The best time to correct amblyopia is during infancy or early childhood. It is important for parents to be aware of this potential problem to protect their Childs vision.
What causes Amblyopia?
In many cases, the conditions associated with amblyopia may be inherited. Amblyopia has three major causes:
- Strabismus (misaligned eyes). Amblyopia occurs most commonly with miss aligned or crossed eyes. The crossed eye "turns off" to avoid double vision and the child uses only the better eye.
- Unequal focus (refractive error). Refractive errors are eye conditions that are corrected by wearing glasses. Amblyopia occurs when one eye is out of focus because it is more nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic that the other eye. The blurred eye shuts off and becomes amblyotic. The eyes can look normal, but one eye has poor vision. This type is the most difficult to detect, and requires careful measurement of vision.
- Cloudiness in the normally clear eye tissues. An eye disease such as a cataract (a clouding of the eye's natural lens), may lead to Amblyopia. Any factor that prevents a clear image from being focused inside the eye can lead to the development of amblyopia. This is often the most severe form.
How is Amblyopia diagnosed?
Amblyopia is detected by finding a difference between the two eyes. Your Doctor will measure visual acuity by watching how well a baby follows objects with each individual eye. An exam of the interior of the eye will check for any diseases.
How to treat Amblyopia
To correct, the child must be made to use the weak eye. This may be done with patching the strong eye, glasses, visual training, or a combination. Sometimes surgery is necessary. Successful treatment mostly depends on your interest and involvement, as well as your child's cooperation. In most cases, parents play an important role in determining whether their child's amblyopia is to be corrected.