What is Amblyopia and Why Does it Happen?
Updated: Apr 11, 2020
Amblyopia is the medical term for an eye condition commonly known as “lazy eye”. This
condition occurs when the vision in one eye is reduced due to the eye and brain not working together properly. The eye itself appears normal, however, it’s not being used normally as the brain is favoring the other eye instead.
Is Amblyopia Common?
According to the National Eye Institute, Amblyopia is the most common eye condition among children affecting approximately 2 to 3 of every 100 children. Amblyopia will persist into adulthood if it isn’t treated properly during early childhood.
What Causes Amblyopia?
Any condition that prevents the eye from focusing properly can result in Amblyopia. This
includes Strabismus, a condition where they eyes are misaligned, Esotropia, where the eyes are crossed, or Exotropia, where the eyes are turned outward. In addition to these conditions, Amblyopia can also be caused by cataracts.
Another common cause of Amblyopia is the inability for one eye to focus as well as the other. This can happen if one eye is more farsighted, nearsighted or has more astigmatism.
Treatment Options for Children:
Treatment of Amblyopia for children involves forcing the child to use their weaker eye. This is done either by patching or atropine.
Patching: an adhesive patch is worn over one’s stronger eye for weeks or months. This form of therapy forces the person to use their weaker eye. Patching helps the brain stimulate vision in the eye affected by Amblyopia, this allows the part of the brain involved with vision to develop more completely.
Atropine: atropine is a drug that’s used to temporarily blur the vision in one’s stronger eye
this forces them to use the eye affected by Amblyopia instead. This method of therapy is
especially effective when focusing on near objects.
Can Adults be Treated for Amblyopia?
There are very limited studies and treatment options for adults with Amblyopia at this time. The visual system develops quickly during one’s first seven to ten years of life. Connections between the brain and the eye are developed during this time.
If you have questions about Amblyopia call Baldwin Eye Care, LLC to schedule an appointment with your eye care professional. It’s important to seek a professional diagnosis to determine the correct cause of your symptoms.