What is Amblyopia?
Amblyopia also known as “lazy eye” is the most common visual problem in childhood, affecting approximately three out of every 100 children. The problem isn’t really the eye itself, but the brain. The affected eye and the brain are not communicating properly. If one eye sees clearly and the other sees a blur, the brain can ignore the eye with the blur. Or if one eye is turned in or out the brain can ignore the turned eye.
How is Amblyopia Diagnosed?
Since Amblyopia usually occurs in one eye only, many children and parents are not aware of the condition. Children may go undiagnosed until they have an eye exam at the eye doctors at a later age. If you notice your child’s eye turns in or out, or closes one eye in bright sunlight, these could be warning signs. Seeing your optometrist at an early age is highly recommended.
How is Amblyopia Treated?
Though surgery can be performed for turned eyes, treatment of amblyopia usually involves drops, glasses and/or patching. Patching or blurring (using eye drops) the vision of the good eye forces the weak eye to work. When you isolate the weak eye, it can become stronger on its own catching up to the strength of the better eye. A child’s vision is fully developed by the age of 9, so the best chance of success is in treating it during childhood.