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What Is Amblyopia (Lazy eye) – causes, symptoms and treatment

One eye may have poor vision due to improper use during early growth, a disease known as amblyopia, or “lazy eye.”. Amblyopia, or lazy eye, can develop if refractive error is present from an early age. The lower eye cannot learn to see correctly because the brain ignores its signals and concentrates on the superior eye. Suppose this issue is not discovered until after vision has finished developing. In that case, the poorer eye will never fully develop its “information route” into the brain and will never see as well as the better eye. Visual development in the brain happens in the first few years of life.

What Are the Causes of Amblyopia (Lazy Eye?)

  • Squint (deviation of eye)
  • Refractive error
  • Drooping eyelids: If a droopy eyelid covers enough of the eye to impair vision, amblyopia can occur.
  • Because of a corneal scar or an eye cataract, light cannot enter the back of the eye.
  • Amblyopia is often a problem that can be addressed if it is treated early. If treatment is delayed, the vision issue may not improve.

What are the symptoms of amblyopia?

Amblyopia symptoms might be difficult to identify. Children who suffer from amblyopia may have poor depth perception, making it difficult for them to judge how close or far something is. Indicators that a child is having trouble seeing clearly may also be seen by parents, such as:

  • An inward- or outward-moving eye
  • Eyes that don’t seem to work
  • Low-level insight

Usually, parents are unaware that their child has amblyopia until a doctor identifies it during an eye exam. Because of this, every kid should get a vision test between the ages of 3 and 5.

Why is Treating Amblyopia Important?

A child with amblyopia cannot see clearly out of one eye. The ability to see in three dimensions or in depth may be affected, even in mild cases of amblyopia, making it difficult to perceive distance and depth when looking at objects. As a result, there is no vision that is totally functional and equivalent to what both eyes see.

The earlier that children with amblyopia receive treatment, the better. Without treatment, children may develop lifelong eyesight issues. Treatment for amblyopia is usually less successful in adults than in youngsters.

Treatments for Amblyopia?

  • Treating any eye disorders that may be present, such as strabismus or refractive errors like long sight (hypermetropia) or short sight (myopia). It may take 4-6 months for eyesight to improve after receiving glasses for a refractive error.
  • Getting the amblyopic eye to work properly will aid in normal vision development.
  • Giving the stronger eye special eye drops. The medication temporarily blurs near vision when taken once daily, causing the mind to adjust to utilizing the other eye. Some parents think that using this treatment is easier than using an eye patch for some children (for example, since small kids might attempt to pull off eye patches).

Making the impacted eye work

  • Restricting the use of the healthy eye is the primary treatment for amblyopia. The damaged eye is then made to work as a result. The vision will typically improve if this is done when a child is young enough, frequently returning to normal. The damaged eye’s visual development catches up.
  • Putting an eye patch over the good eye to force the “lazy” (amblyopic) eye to see. Another name for eye patching is “occlusion.”
  • The age of the child and the degree of amblyopia determine how long the treatment with an eye patch will last. The course of treatment is continued either until the vision returns to normal or until no more progress is noted.
  • Patches may be worn for an average of six hours each day. But in extreme circumstances, they might need to be worn for most of the day.
  • Before the circuits in the brain that control vision is fixed and cannot be changed, more patch treatments (maintenance treatments) may occasionally be required.
  • Other amblyopia treatments include eye drops and glasses.
  • Sometimes ocular drops are used instead of an eye patch to temporarily impair vision in the good eye. When a child gets angry at wearing a patch, eye drops may be useful. Once drops are placed in a child’s eye, the blurriness of vision cannot be altered; it simply goes off over time.
  • Another choice is to wear glasses that block the good eye’s vision from being clearly seen. Usually, one of the glasses lenses will be frosted, making it impossible to see through.

Lazy Eye outlook

With early diagnosis and treatment, 90% of children’s vision will almost entirely recover. Make sure to schedule an eye exam for your kids as soon as possible. Follow your doctor’s advice regarding your child’s therapy, despite the fact that it could be difficult. Getting the amblyopic eye to work properly will aid in normal vision development.

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