Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, occurs when one eye becomes weaker than the other during childhood. The brain favors the better eye, thus, allowing the weaker eye to get worse over time. Early screening is important. This is because treatment is more effective when started early. Treatments include an eye patch or glasses.
When a person has amblyopia, the brain focuses on one eye more than the other, virtually ignoring the lazy eye. If that eye does not receive proper stimulation, the nerve cells responsible for vision do not mature as they should.
In a child with lazy eye (amblyopia), one eye has blurred vision, and the other has clear vision. The brain begins to ignore the blurry eye and uses only the eye with clear vision. Eventually, the brain learns to rely on the stronger eye, allowing the weaker eye to worsen.
For eye examination to check for Amblyopia, you must visit the best eye hospital in Hyderabad.
What are the Symptoms of Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)?
Amblyopia eyes may be hard to detect until it becomes severe. Early warning signs include:-
- A tendency to bump into objects on one side
- An eye that wanders inward or outward
- Eyes that appear not to work together
- Poor depth perception
- Double vision
What Causes Lazy Eye?
Amblyopia is related to developmental problems in your brain. In this case, the nerve pathways in your brain that process sight don’t function properly. This dysfunction occurs when your eyes don’t receive equal amounts of use.
According to the doctors of the eye hospital in KPHB, a number of conditions and factors can lead you to rely on one eye more than the other. These include:
Strabismus is an imbalance in the muscles that position the eye that causes the eyes to cross or turn out. The muscle imbalance makes it difficult for both eyes to track objects together. People may inherit strabismus, resulting from far- or nearsightedness, a viral illness, or an injury.
A refractive error is when the light is not correctly focused as it travels through the lens of the eye. Refractive errors occur due to nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, in which the surface of the cornea or lens is uneven, causing blurred vision.
A child with anisometropic amblyopia will be more farsighted or nearsighted in one eye than the other, resulting in amblyopia developing in the eye most affected.
Stimulus Deprivation Amblyopia
This type is the least common form of amblyopia. When something prevents an eye from seeing, it becomes weaker. Sometimes, both eyes could be affected.
This type of amblyopia could be due to:
- A corneal ulcer, a scar, or another eye disease
- A congenital cataract, in which a baby is born with clouding of the lens
- Ptosis, or a droopy eyelid
- Eye injury
- Eye surgery
Certain complications can occur with amblyopia, including:
Blindness: If untreated, the person may eventually lose vision in the affected eye. This vision loss is usually permanent. According to the National Eye Institute, lazy eye is the most common cause of single-eye vision impairment in young and middle-aged adults in the U.S.
Eye turn: Strabismus, where the eyes are not aligned, can become permanent.
Central vision: If children do not receive treatment for amblyopia, their central vision may not develop correctly. This may affect their ability to do certain tasks.
Who is at Risk for Amblyopia?
Some children may have risk factors for Amblyopia, including:
- Family history of eye problems
- Developmental disabilities
- Born early (premature birth)
- Small at birth
Amblyopia usually occurs in only one eye. When it first occurs, parents and children often don’t notice the condition. It’s important to get routine eye exams as an infant and child, even if you show no outward symptoms of eye problems.
The American Optometric Association recommends that children have eye exams when they are 6 months old and 3 years old. After that, children should receive routine exams every 2 years, or more frequently, from ages 6 to 18.
Your eye doctor will typically perform a standard eye exam to assess vision in both of your eyes. This involves a series of tests, such as:
- Identifying letters or shapes on a chart
- Following a light with each eye and then both of your eyes
- having your doctor look at your eyes with a magnifying device
Among other things, your doctor will check your vision clarity, eye muscle strength, and how well your eyes focus. They will look for a wandering eye or differences in vision between your eyes. For most amblyopia test or diagnoses, an eye examination is all that is required.
Lazy Eye Treatment
Treating underlying eye conditions is the most effective way to treat amblyopia. In other words, you need to help your damaged eye develop normally. Early treatment measures are simple and may include eyeglasses, contact lenses, eye patches, eye drops, or vision therapy.
The earlier you get amblyopia treatment, the better the outcome. However, recovery may still be possible if your amblyopia is diagnosed and treated when you’re older.
If you have amblyopia because you’re nearsighted or farsighted, or have astigmatism in one eye, corrective glasses or contact lenses may be prescribed.
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.
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.
In a child with amblyopia, one eye has blurred vision, and the other has clear vision. The brain begins to ignore the blurry eye and uses only the eye with clear vision. Eventually, the brain learns to rely on the stronger eye, allowing the weaker eye to worsen.
With early diagnosis and treatment, children with amblyopia can significantly improve their vision. The goal of treatment is to improve sight as much as possible, though it may not lead to perfect sight, especially in severe cases.
Amblyopia does not go away on its own. If left untreated, it can cause permanent vision loss and a “wonky eye” that always looks in another direction. And lazy eye is much harder to treat in teenagers and adults. Early vision exams and treatment are essential.
To know more about Amblyopia, you must consult an experienced Ophthalmologist in Hyderabad.