Amblyopia is a condition characterized by poor vision in one eye. Otherwise known as lazy eye, the condition is mostly seen in kids and young adults.
Amblyopia (or lazy eye) is a condition, wherein one eye has poor vision, compared to the other. In some cases, both the eyes can be amblyopic. The affected eye sends poor images to the brain, which does not acknowledge such images. With time, the brain gets tuned to receive the images from the stronger eye, thereby rejecting those transmitted by the weaker one.
Even though this condition develops in early childhood, it is not usually detected during that time, as the stronger eye compensates for the poor vision of the other. The child may not realize the fact that one of his/her eyes has poor vision. The condition has to be detected and treated early, so as to avoid loss of vision of the affected eye.
As mentioned above, amblyopia is a condition characterized by poor vision of one eye. This condition is mostly seen in children, but may develop in adults too. In some cases, amblyopia is caused by any eye problem that affects vision – like nearsightedness or farsightedness. Such people have one eye with good vision and the other with some eye problem. One eye produces clear images, while the other produces blurry ones. If left untreated, the brain gets used to the condition, and ignores images from the faulty eye. With time, the vision of the faulty eye will deteriorate.
Another common cause is an eye condition called strabismus. In case of strabismus, the eyes are misaligned, and so they fail to focus together on an object. Eventually, the brain programs itself to accept the images from one eye only, resulting in deterioration of vision of the affected eye. In some rare cases, amblyopia is caused by any problem (like cataract), which prevents light from entering the eye for a long time. It has also been observed that children with a low birth weight and those who are prematurely born have higher chances of getting affected by amblyopia.
Amblyopia may not cause any symptom in small children. However, if the child has any of the following problems, you have to take him/her to an eye specialist to get the condition diagnosed.
- Eyes are not moving together
- One eye is wandering
- The child has a squint
- Drooping upper eyelid
The affected child may cry or get irritated if one eye is covered. Any of these conditions could be due to amblyopia. As the condition develops due to the action of the brain that ignores the images from one eye, one method of amblyopia treatment is to force the brain to accept the images from the faulty eye. This is done by putting a patch over the good eye or to blur the good eye with eye drops. It can be a tough task for the child to use only the weaker eye with blurred vision, but with time, the vision of the faulty eye will improve.
It may take some weeks, months or even a year for the condition to get treated. If strabismus is found to be the cause, then use of glasses, medication, eye exercises, or refractive amblyopia treatment is carried out. If there is any blockage in the eye, which is preventing light from entering the eye, then surgery may be required. Other eye problems, which affect the focus of one eye is often treated with eye glasses or contact lenses. Vision therapy is one of the effective amblyopia treatment for adults. However, in children, the mode of treatment is decided as per the cause and severity of the condition.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.