Amblyopia, Lazy Eye: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

What is amblyopia?

Amblyopia is a condition where the vision is at a normal level with or without spectacle lenses. Parents of a child with amblyopia can be surprised as there may be no outward obvious symptoms. It occurs more commonly in one eye. To maximise vision overall the brain may also literally turn down, (known as suppression), the image from the weaker eye, leading to the term “lazy eye” .

Lazy eyes are typically detected when the normal eye is covered, small children will often want to push a hand or cover away if their good eye is covered. It is important to detect lazy eyes in children early, the early treatment is started the more effective it is. Having good vision in both eyes is very important depth perception (3D vision) that has a really important role in things like, sports, driving and so on..

Treatment

Treatment for this condition typically involves ensuring that the child is wearing their full spectacle prescription, if they have one. Patching of the good eye for intermittent periods allows the lazy eye to be stimulated to help its vision catch up. You may see young children wearing spectacles and a patch, most of these will be having their amblyopic eye treated. There are other forms of stimulation treatments for amblyopia but it can take time to get results. If unaddressed, the vision may be permanently compromised. Amblyopia can be diagnosed in infants and then all efforts can be made to treat any associated issues..

Other common cause of a lazy eye

Squint (strabismus): Problems with eye muscles lead to a misalignment of the eyes which can lead to the misaligned eye becoming amblyopic.

Routine exams can detect lazy eye early

Contact your nearest eye care professional to arrange an eye exam now

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