Amblyopia, also called as lazy eye is a condition of reduced vision in any one of the eyes. This is due to neglect in proper eye care in childhood such as not taking medical treatment or eye glasses for improving the vision in the Amblyopic eye. Around 2-3% of general population suffers from this kind of problem.
During childhood, neurological system is very flexible and it can easily adapt to changes in the environment.
During these years, infant’s visual system learns how to function.
If any of the eyes doesn’t get enough visual stimuli, then it won’t develop to the same extent as the other eye.
As the infant gets older, the visual system flexibility decreases; and at the time of 7-10 years of age, much less can be done to improve the vision of the Amblyopic eye. The best method for treating this condition is patching the better eye and making the other eye to work hard. Doing this can show some improvement in your vision.
Amblyopia can result from various conditions such as misalignment of the child’s eye, crossed eye and difference in image quality between two eyes. In these conditions, one eye becomes stronger while suppressing the image of other eye. If this situation continues, Amblyopic eye becomes useless and also becomes blind.
Trauma to your eye at any age can cause Amblyopia and also strong uncorrected refractive error such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. Correct your condition as early as possible, before your brain learns to completely ignore the vision in affected eye.
Generally Amblyopia develops in young children under the age of six years.
Symptoms of Amblyopia
Symptoms that can be observed by your doctor include:
- Poor visual acuity
- Squinting or entirely closing one eye to see
Before beginning the treatment of Amblyopia, it is essential to treat the underlying cause. Most commonly, eye glasses are prescribed to improve the vision and misalignment of the eye.
If the non-surgical methods don’t improve your vision, then your doctor recommends surgery for your eye muscles to straighten the eyes. This makes your eyes to work together better.
After undergoing the surgery, your practitioner suggests some eye exercises to correct any faulty visual habits linked to strabismus and also to learn comfortable use of the eyes.
Treatment of Amblyopia
Treatments recommended to correct the underlying causes of Amblyopia include:
Patching: This is one of the most common vision therapies and also called as covering one eye for a period of few weeks to one year. Eye with better vision is patched, forcing the lazy eye to work for strengthening its vision.
Medications: Your doctor prescribes eye drops, such as atropine or ointment to blur the vision of better eye to force the weaker eye to work better. Generally, it is a least successful method of treatment of Amblyopia.