Amblyopia, more widely known as “lazy eye”, occurs quite often. It is believed that 3% of children under the age of six may develop this condition. Amblyopia generally develops when a person is young, and that’s when it’s most easy to correct. At Mountainview Vision Therapy we know this disorder well, and we love helping educate people on how they can better deal with this vision disorder. In this article we’ll discuss the main factors that contribute to the disorder, and what you can do to help yourself or your child overcome it.
A number of different sources lead to amblyopia. Generally speaking, it occurs because the brain is only able to use one eye and the other eye doesn’t develop normally. Most people know that babies do not see very well and that vision develops over time. Well if you aren’t using one of those eyes, then it isn’t developing.
For instance, if the vision of one eye is blurred, the brain will learn to ignore that eye and only use the other. Amblyopia can also occur if the eyes don’t properly line up. This is often called a wandering eye or crossed eye, though the medical term is strabismus. This misalignment causes double vision which the developing brain does not like. Hence the brain learns to suppress (turn one eye off) and just use one eye.
The most severe cause of amblyopia is if something is blocking the vision coming into one eye. This can be caused if a child is born with a cataract in one eye or if the child has a significantly droopy eyelid that gets in the way of the child’s vision.
How can you fix lazy eye?
For over a hundred years, the solution to this problem has been to patch the better seeing eye to strengthen the weaker eye. The problem with this solution alone is that it often does not get at the root of the problem. Normally, the root of the problem is that the child does not know how to use the eyes together as one. This is called binocularity. Newer research shows that a binocular approach to treating amblyopia is often more effective.
Additionally, what child likes to wear a pirate patch? At Washington Vision Therapy Center, in addition to using a binocular approach, when we do patch, we most often use a static cling hazy film, called a bangerter foil. The hazy film is placed on the child’s glasses, is often hardly noticeable, and makes it much easier to get the child to wear the patch.
Often patients are told that once their child reaches a certain age, amblyopia cannot be treated. Amblyopia may be more difficult to treat at an older age, but we have found success with patients well into adulthood
If you or someone you love suffers from lazy eye, we encourage you to make an appointment with us! We love our patients, and we want to help you as much as we possibly can. We’re confident in our ability to help you solve amblyopia or any other visual condition you may be tired of dealing with. Call today!