Amblyopia, often called lazy eye or lazy vision, is a serious eye condition that affects vision. Poor sight develops in one eye during infancy or childhood and gets worse over time if not treated.The weaker — or lazy — eye often wanders inward or outward.
Amblyopia is the most common reason for vision loss in kids, affecting 2% to 4% of children through the age of 15 years.
There are three main types of amblyopia, including:
• Refractive: This shows large differences in vision between both eyes.
• Strabismic: This type causes constant eye turn in one eye.
• Deprivation: This reduces vision in one eye due to physical problems in the eye, such as a cataract.
Signs and symptoms of lazy eye include:
• An eye that wanders inward or outward
• Eyes that appear to not work together
• Poor depth perception
• Squinting or shutting an eye
• Head tilting
• Abnormal results of vision screening tests
• Refractive errors. One eye might have much better focus than the other. The other eye could be nearsighted or farsighted. Or it could have astigmatism (distorted or blurry vision). When your brain gets both a blurry image and a clear one, it starts to ignore the blurry one. If this goes on for months or years, vision in the blurry eye will get worse.
• Strabismus. This is when your eyes don’t line up the way they should. One could turn in or out. People who have strabismus can’t focus their eyes together on an image, so they often see double. Your brain will ignore the image from the eye that isn’t aligned.
• Cataracts. A cloudy lens inside your eye can make things look blurry. The vision in that eye might not develop the way it should.
• Droopy eyelid (ptosis). A sagging eyelid can block your vision.
Risk Factors –
Some children may have risk factors for amblyopia, including:
• Family history of eye problems.
• Developmental disabilities.
• Born early (premature birth).
• Small at birth.
Untreated, lazy eye can cause permanent vision loss.
Your doctor will conduct an eye exam, checking for eye health, a wandering eye, a difference in vision between the eyes or poor vision in both eyes. Eyedrops are generally used to dilate the eyes
The earlier you get treatment, the better the outcome. However, recovery may still be possible if your amblyopia is diagnosed and treated when you’re older.
▪︎ Glasses/contact lenses
If you have amblyopia because you’re nearsighted or farsighted, or have astigmatism in one eye, corrective glasses or contact lenses may be prescribed.
▪︎ Eye patch
Wearing an eye patch over your dominant eye can help strengthen your weaker eye. Your doctor will probably suggest that you wear the patch 1 to 2 hours a day, depending on how severe your amblyopia is. The patch will help develop your brain area that controls vision.
▪︎ Eye drops
Drops may be used once or twice a day to cloud your vision in your healthy eye. Like an eye patch, this encourages you to use your weaker eye more. This is an alternative to wearing a patch.
If you have crossed eyes or eyes that point in opposite directions, you may require surgery on the muscles of your eye.
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