Amblyopia, or ‘lazy eye’ is the commonest cause of blindness in children. It is a term used when vision in one of the eyes is reduced as either the brain or the eye are not working properly. The eye appears normal, but it is not used perfectly as the brain tends to favor the other eye.
One of the most common causes of amblyopia is the failure of the eye to focus as well as the other one. When the child’s brain receives both a clear and a blurry image, it begins to ignore the blurry one. In the long run, the vision in the blurred eye becomes worse.
In some cases, the eyes do not line up as they normally should. This condition is known as strabismus which can also lead to amblyopia. Such kids see things double as their eyes are unable to focus on a single object. The brain fails to process the image from the misaligned eye compromising on vision further. This misalignment has led to the term “lazy eye.”
Parents often do not notice the symptoms of a lazy eye for a very long time as this only affects one of the eyes. Refractive amblyopia occurs when there is an unequal amount of refractive error in the child’s eyesight. So, it may not make much of a difference straightaway. However, there are some red flags to watch out for, so that parents can diagnose the problem sooner.
Yes, amblyopia is correctable. In fact, the earlier the child is diagnosed, the faster is the treatment. The prognosis for amblyopia decreases after the age of 6 years and is likely to become limited if treatment is started after the age of 8 years. The main plan of treatment of amblyopia should focus on:
Talk to your eye doctor or pediatrician if you feel the child is experiencing vision problems.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.