What is amblyopia?
Amblyopia (lazy eye) is a condition in which the eye and brain don’t work together well as they should. With kids have to suffer this disease will develop good vision in one eye and poor vision in the other.
Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent child’s vision from long-term troubles. Lazy eye is not a serious condition and it can usually be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, or eye patches. Sometimes surgery is required.
If you don’t have suitable treatment soon, your child’s brain will learn to ignore the image that comes from that eye. That could harm her vision permanently.
How common is amblyopia?
This health condition is extremely common. It commonly affects children who are from birth until about age 8. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
What are the symptoms of amblyopia?
The common symptoms of amblyopia are:
- An eye that wanders inward or outward
- Eyes that appear to not work together
- Poor depth perception
- Squinting or shutting an eye
- Head tilting
- Abnormal results of vision screening tests
- Atendency to bump into objects on one side
- Double vision
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
See your child’s doctor if you notice his or her eye wandering at any time after the first few weeks of life. A vision check is especially important if there’s a family history of crossed eyes, childhood cataracts or other eye conditions.
For all children, a complete eye exam is recommended between ages 3 and 5.
What causes amblyopia?
Anything that blurs a child’s vision or causes the eyes to cross or turn out may result in lazy eye. Common causes of the condition include:
- Muscle imbalance (strabismus). The most common cause of lazy eye is an imbalance in the muscles that position the eyes.
- Difference in sharpness of vision between the eyes (refractive anisometropia). A significant difference between the prescriptions in each eye often due to farsightedness, sometimes to nearsightedness or an imperfection on the surface of the eye called astigmatism can cause lazy eye.
- Deprivation. Any problems with one eye such as a cloudy area in the lens (cataract) can deprive a child of clear vision in that eye
What increases my risk for amblyopia?
There are many risk factors for amblyopia, such as:
- Constant strabismus, or turning of one eye
- Genetics, or a family history of lazy eye
- Different levels of vision in each of your eyes
- Damage to one of your eyes from trauma
- Drooping of one of your eyelids
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Corneal ulcer or scar
- Eye surgery
- Vision impairment, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
- Glaucoma, which is high pressure in your eye that can lead to vision problems and blindness.
- Developmental disabilities
Diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is amblyopia diagnosed?
The method used to test vision depends on your child’s age and stage of development:
- Preverbal children. A lighted magnifying device can be used to detect cataracts. Other tests can access an infant or toddler’s ability to fixate his or her gaze and to follow a moving object.
- Children ages 3 and older. Tests which use pictures or letters can assess the child’s vision. Each eye is patched in turn to test the other.
How is amblyopia treated?
It’s essential to start treatment for children who have lazy eye as soon as possible in childhood. Treatment starts before age 7 will give the best treatment, although half of children between the ages of 7 and 17 respond to treatment. Treatment options depend on the cause of lazy eye and on how serious the condition is affecting your child’s vision.
- Corrective eyewear
- Eye patches. To stimulate the weaker eye, your child may wear an eye patch over the stronger eye
- Bangerter filter. In this method will use a special filter which is placed on the eyeglass lens of the stronger eye. The filter blurs the stronger eye and, like an eye patch, works to stimulate the weaker eye.
- Eyedrops. Children may be required eyedrop of a medication called atropine (Isopto Atropine) can temporarily blur vision in the stronger eye. This will encourage your child to use the weaker eye, and offers an alternative to wearing a patch.
- If you have crossed eyes or eyes that point in opposite directions, you may need a surgery on the muscles of your eye.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remediesthat can help me manage amblyopia?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with amblyopia:
- Amblyopia can be prevented by the early detection and treatment of strabismus, astigmatism, cataracts, and other vision problems.
- There are lots of techniques to detect amblyopia with varying degrees of specificity, sensitivity, complexity and cost. These include a complete ophthalmic examination, photoscreening, visual evoked potentials, acuity charts, and tests of stereopsis and binocular function. Children who are at higher risk for amblyopia should be watched closely for early signs of this condition.
- In general, the sooner amblyopia is detected and addressed, the less negative effect it has on the visual system. Vision screening is advocated on the state level to screen as many children as possible for this disease prior to the age of kindergarten. Early intervention results in better overall vision.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
What Is Amblyopia? http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/amblyopia-child-eyes#2. Accessed February 26, 2017
Lazy eye (amblyopia). http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lazy-eye/more-about/multimedia/ssc-20201932. Accessed February 26, 2017
What Causes Lazy Eye? http://www.healthline.com/symptom/lazy-eye. Accessed February 26, 2017
Amblyopia. http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/amblyopia.html#. Accessed February 26, 2017.
Review Date: July 17, 2017 | Last Modified: July 18, 2017