What is Lazy Eye? Treatment in Olive Branch, MS
For optimal sight, it is necessary for the eyes to work in cooperation with each other and with the brain. In instances when this system breaks down, a condition called amblyopia, or lazy eye, can occur. In the majority of instances of ambylopia the actual eyes are typically healthy however visual acuity cannot be achieved by just the use of prescription eyeglasses. If not treated lazy eye can result in serious visual disability, even blindness in that eye.
Lazy eye is the most frequently diagnosed vision disorder in childhood. Usually beginning in the developmental stages of infancy, the disorder can be challenging to detect. Unless it is adequately treated at an early age, the chance of complete vision restoration is reduced. Those that don’t start to be treated until adolescence or adulthood frequently experience that it can take longer and is less effective.
This is why it is important to have your child’s eyes tested at a young age. According to the AOA (American Optometric Association) children should receive a complete eye exam at half a year and again when the child turns three.
What are the Causes of Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)?
Lazy eye occurs when the eyes or visual system do not function in unison. The most common cause is strabismus, a condition where the eyes are not properly aligned. Strabismus results in eyes that cross in (estropia) or turn out (exotropia) and therefore aren’t able to work together. Sometimes amblyopia is caused when one eye is more nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic than the other eye. This is the result of a condition called anisometropia. Occasionally, amblyopia is caused by other optical conditions such as a cataract or another structural cause.
Treating Lazy Eye
Treatment for lazy eye aims to achieve proper binocular vision. Along with the use of prescription lenses, one of the most common approaches entails forcing the individual to use the weaker eye. A few treatment options exist to occlude the better eye and the treatment plan is prescribed according to the patient’s situation and a consultation with an eye care professional.
Frequently you will see a patch used to occlude the better eye. The patient is then compelled to use the weak eye, which stimulates proper sight in the weak eye and helps the visual processing system to develop properly. However success with patching largely depends on compliance of the patient to use the patch, which can be a factor with many children.
Some eye care professionals choose to use atropine. When placed in the good eye, atropine drops temporarily impair the sight to stimulate the use of the weaker eye.
Occasionally vision can be improved by vision aides alone, such as prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses that improve vision in each eye, yet this is rare. Additionally, vision therapy to train the eyes to function in unison or in some cases a surgical procedure might also be suggested.
Since lazy eye is caused by a problem with the proper development of the visual system, the younger the age at which treatment starts, the more chance there is of success. However, there are many factors that are involved and therefore anyone who suspects they or their child has amblyopia should schedule an appointment as soon as possible with their eye care professional. If you are looking for lazy eye management by an optometrist in Olive Branch, MS, be in touch to schedule an appointment. The sooner accurate diagnosis and treatment are underway, the sooner we can begin to repair your eyesight!