Lazy eye is a common term used to refer to amblyopia. It is a medical condition that affects the vision. This article deals with various forms of its treatment.
Lazy eye is mostly observed in children. It occurs when the central vision of one of the eyes is not properly developed. Normally, this problem arises before a child reaches the age of four, and it usually affects only one eye. However, the possibility of this disorder affecting both the eyes cannot be ruled out. This eye problem is quite common and is estimated to be found in nearly one out of every fifty children.
Its main characteristic is either poor or unclear vision. It deteriorates when the visual image is not sent to the brain in a coordinated manner. As a result, both the eyes fail to work together. It is to be noted that this disorder does not have any effect on the side vision of the eyes.
When a child is mildly affected by this condition, no symptoms are noticeable. This is because the stronger eye functions normally. In severe cases, one can have:
- Inadequate depth perception
- Sharpness of vision
- Sense of contrast
Common symptoms include:
- Squinting of the eyes
- Complete closure of the weak eye
- Strain in the eyes
People suffering from this disorder find it difficult to see three-dimensional images of autostereograms. The perception of size or motion parallax in patients remains normal.
If the problem is detected at an early stage, it is possible to cure it with proper treatment. Treatment includes eye exercises and surgery. In case a person has huge discrepancy in the near-sightedness and far-sightedness of both the eyes, surgery is the best option. It rectifies the problem associated with the eye muscles and makes them capable to focus on a particular point.
Eye exercises also bring about marked improvement in this case and enable the eyes to perform their task in sync with each other. Here, the doctors often put a patch on the strong eye so that the afflicted eye can get back its ability to see. The exercises need to be done every day for certain number of hours. It should be continued for few months for best possible results.
Most of the time, children refuse to keep the patch on. In these cases, prosthetic contact lenses can be used, which are devised specifically to bar the vision of the injured eye. However, it looks similar to the normal lenses meant for the other eye. These exercises compel the brain to accept the images through the affected eye and thus, help to regenerate vision.
Atropine eye drops work well to serve the purpose of blocking the good eye. Just one drop of it is administered to the strong eye to make its vision hazy. As a result, the person is forced to see through the other eye, thus making it stronger. Researchers have, however, found some side effects like light sensitivity and inability to change focus, when atropine is used for a prolonged duration.
A lazy eye cannot get corrected on its own. If left untreated, it can lead to some severe visual problems later on. Also, if the stronger eye gets an infection, the vision of the weaker eye has to be relied on. Therefore, good and early treatment is a must for this condition.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.