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All About Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

In order to have proper eyesight, the eyes must operate in unison with each other and with the brain. When this system breaks down, the result can be amblyopia or lazy eye. With most instances of ambylopia the actual eyes are typically healthy but visual acuity can not be achieved by just the use of prescription glasses. Left untreated amblyopia can result in serious visual impairment, even blindness in one eye.
 
Amblyopia is the most frequently diagnosed vision disorder in childhood. Usually beginning as an early childhood developmental issue, the disorder is often challenging to detect. Early diagnosis and treatment improve the likelihood of complete vision restoration. Patients that dont begin to be treated until adolescence or adulthood dont typically find as successful outcomes as patients who begin treatment when they are young.
 
This is why it is crucial to have your childs vision checked at an early age. The American Optometric Association recommends that children have a comprehensive optometric examination by the age of half a year and again at age three.
 
What are the Causes of Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)?
 
Amblyopia may be caused by a number of conditions that affect normal visual development or functioning of the eyes. The most common cause is strabismus, an imbalance in the positioning of the eyes. Such misalignment results in eyes that cross in (estropia) or turn out (exotropia) and therefore arent able to work together. Amblyopia can also be caused by a condition where the eyes have different levels of acuity. This condition is called anisometropia. Occasionally, lazy eye is caused by other eye diseases such as a cataract or some other pathological cause.
 
Treatment for Amblyopia
 
Treatment for amblyopia aims to achieve proper binocular vision. Along with the use of prescription lenses, one of the most common approaches involves making the patient use the eye with the reduced vision. A few treatment options exist to do this and the treatment plan is chosen depending on the patients circumstances andthe decision of the optometrist.
 
Very often you will see patching, where a patch is worn to cover the good eye. The patient is then compelled to use the weak eye, which stimulates vision in the underdeveloped eye and assists the visual system in the brain develop more completely. However success with patching largely depends on cooperation with wearing the patch, which can be difficult with many children.
 
An alternative to patching is the use of atropine. When placed in the better eye, atropine drops impair the sight to force the patient to prefer the other eye.
 
Some vision can be improved by vision devices alone, such as prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses that improve vision in each eye, however this is not usually the case. Additionally, vision therapy to train the eyes to work as a team or in some cases surgery might also be suggested. 
 
Because lazy eye is the result of a disruption in the visual process, the younger the age at which treatment starts, the higher the chance of success. Still, there are many factors that are involved and therefore anyone who thinks they or their child has lazy eye should consult immediately with their optometrist If you are in need of amblyopia management in Camas, contact us to book an appointment. Amblyopia wont heal itself so dont delay in starting to restore your eyesight!