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Lazy Eye – Find Out Everything About This Condition Including Its Treatment

Monday, January 19, 2015 @ 02:01 AM
Author: Amit Mathur


Another name for Lazy eye is amblyopia, and it is where one of an individual’s eyes is weaker and does not see as clearly as the other eye does. This condition develops in infants, it is evident by the age of four years, and one out of every 50 children is likely to develop lazy eye. It is possible to have both eyes suffering from this condition though having lazy eye in both eyes is not as common as in one eye. When people ignore lazy eye, it will develop into severe eye complications.

Since the brain and the eye depend on the nerve pathways connecting them, those that belong to the lazy eye lack the proper stimulation required to function normally. This condition leads to the brain favoring one eye over the other, and it might eventually stop recognizing signals from the lazy eye.

How do you identify lazy eye?

A lazy eye tends to wander and finds it hard to keep up with the normal eye, making it seem as if the eyes are not working together. The eye can wander inward or outward, and fail to perceive images clearly or even at all. However, it is very important for people to visit a doctor and have an eye examination since at times identifying lazy eye might not be as obvious as one might think.

Since lazy eye usually develops in small children, it is at times difficult to know that an infant is suffering from this condition. Doctors have ways of telling whether a child is suffering from the above condition or if the child is developing squint, cataracts, cross-eyes or other eye conditions through various routine tests. However, older children are able to tell if one of their eyes if developing symptoms of lazy eye, and that should warrant a visit to a doctor immediately.

What causes lazy eye?

Seeing an object is not as simple as it sounds. A lot happens from when light bounces off an object to when the brain perceives and transforms those signals into a three-dimensional image. When the process has a form of an interruption, then the eye can develop the above condition. The most common interruptions here include:

  1. Deprivation – This condition is common where one eye has a form of cloudy matter affecting its vision, probably developing because of cataracts. Lack of clear vision in the eye deprives the eye of vision and eventually its function.
  2. Refractive – If the ability of each eye differs due to farsightedness, nearsightedness, eye surface imperfections or any other irregularity, it can lead to lazy eye. However, eye professionals can easily correct this situation using contact lenses or glasses.
  3. Strabismus – For effective visual perception, the eyes have to coordinate and view an object together. However, when the muscles responsible for balancing the eyes do not work properly, the eyes can turn out or cross in. Most people suffering from lazy eye have this condition.

Is it possible to diagnose the condition in children?

A doctor will need to establish which eye is the weaker one, and then test both eyes to reveal whether both need some form of treatment. Children ranging from newborns all the way to preschoolers might not be in a position to explain their condition, but a few tests can reveal the problem and treatment can begin immediately.

Eye specialists can use red reflex tests, moving objects tests to test a baby’s ability to fixate his or her gaze, photo screening, and using pictures and letters for the older children. During this period, the eye specialists can also check for tumors in the eye, inflammation, and any other eye complication.

What are the lazy eye treatment methods?

The sooner an eye specialist can begin the treatment, the better the chances an eye has for a complete recovery. The most common treatment avenues include:

  • Wearing corrective eyewear – Prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses are a great way of dealing with astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness. In instances where the doctor detects the condition early, corrective eyewear is sufficient to correct the problem.
  • Wearing eye patches – The patient here wears an eye patch over the good eye to stimulate the functionality of the weaker eye. Wearing the patch for a few hours in a day will help to correct lazy eye. Totally depending on the lazy eye for a few hours every day, helps its underdeveloped pathways to develop completely.
  • Using eye drops – As opposed to applying eye drops to deal with dry eyes or other related conditions, the drops here play the role of blurring the stronger eye’s vision. This blurring forces the weaker eye to step up, and it starts to develop normally.

Surgery – A child’s eyes can wander and cross an indication of a serious condition of lazy eye. In such cases, the doctor can repair the problem surgically. For young children, lazy eyes accompanied by cataracts or drooping eyelids can require surgery to correct.

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