What Is Amblyopia?

Amblyopia is known to be the medical term for a lazy eye which is a disorder associated with vision development. Having a lazy eye means the normal visual acuity is not achieved even with the help of eyeglasses or contact lenses.

The occurrences of having lazy eyes are in the early stages of life such as during infancy and childhood. If it is detected and treated early, developing poor vision can be avoided. Untreated lazy eye can cause permanent vision loss.

Typically in most cases, only one eye is affected but there are some cases where both eyes are affected.

Symptoms of Amblyopia

It is difficult to detect the symptoms of a lazy eye because the problem is with infant vision development. These are some ways that can determine if your child suffers from lazy eye condition:

  • Strabismus or the misalignment of the eyes. If you notice that your child has crossed eyes, it is important to visit an eye doctor to know more about it.
  • Try covering one eye and see if the child cries or fusses
  • Poor depth perception
  • Repeating eye closure or squinting
  • Eyes go in different directions when trying to focus

A comprehensive eye exam is still more important than a simple screening test. Around 6 months of age, it is recommended that your child should have a first eye exam to see if the vision develops normally and functions together properly.


Three Causes of Lazy Eye

Strabismic amblyopia refers to the type of amblyopia that is caused by poorly aligned eyes or strabismus.

Refractive amblyopia refers to the type of amblyopia that is caused by the unequal refractive errors in both eyes even if there is a perfect alignment. It is also called anisometropic amblyopia.

Deprivation amblyopia refers to the type of amblyopia that is caused by the obstruction present to refrain the light from entering such as congenital cataract. Cataract surgery may be necessary for normal vision development to occur.


Treatments for Lazy Eye

The treatment methods for amblyopia depend on the severity of the condition and personal preferences.

With the use of corrective lenses and glasses, refractive errors may be corrected and normal vision may be achieved.

Strabismus surgery works for individuals who have strabismic amblyopia to align their eyes.

A prosthetic contact lens prevents the light from entering the good eye but it costs more than a normal eye patch.

Atropine drops therapy is used in the good eye each day without having to wear eye patches.

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