Lazy eye or amblyopia is a neuro-developmental eye condition that starts early in life. It may also occur due to an injury to the brain or a neurological condition. Amblyopia causes minimized eyesight in one eye despite having prescription eyewear.
Left untreated, amblyopia can have adverse effects on a child's life. It can affect their school work, their ability to engage in sports, and even their friendships. This may, in turn, affect their self-esteem, self-image, and overall mental health.
Amblyopia is a condition caused by the inability of the brain to utilize both eyes. In other words, the brain ignores the visual information coming from one of the eyes. It affects the ability of a person to perceive depth and results in poor visual acuity. It also affects movements of the eyes linked to reading and visual decisions when driving.
Amblyopia in children will usually not present any symptoms. Eye doctors can diagnose it when the child is in an eye exam. It is therefore essential to have routine eye exams for your child. Some telltale signs are if your child is squinting too much and if you notice your child shutting one eye or has problems reading.
There are several strategies that eye doctors can use to address amblyopia. These vary depending on the extent of the amblyopia and preference. After an eye exam, the eye doctor may recommend one of these options.
An eye doctor may prescribe prism lenses to address the lazy eye condition. Doctors commonly use them when the eyes are misaligned. Misaligned eyes are those which cannot focus on one object with both eyes simultaneously. This condition is known as strabismus. The prisms shift the images to get them to align with the position of the misaligned eye or to allow the eyes a shorter distance to reach the misaligned targets which reduces fatigue. They help develop binocular vision when the patient is engaged with other treatments.
These are image balancing lenses, also known as iseikonic lenses. They are essential in minimizing visual stress when the two eyes have differing prescriptions. They help build binocular vision by equalizing the image received by both eyes.
Vision therapy is a very effective and non-invasive treatment for amblyopia. It involves individualized programs offered under medical supervision. Vision therapy improves the flexibility, speed, accuracy, and endurance of the eyes along with better clarity of vision.
It works primarily on eye focusing, eye teaming, and eye-tracking. It also results in high-level visual skills like eye-hand coordination and visual processing speed. These are all important in the treatment of amblyopia because they involve the entire ocular structure.
VIVID virtual reality is a technology used to treat amblyopia either at home or in the clinic utilizing a virtual reality headset that separates the images fed to the individual eyes. It is especially effective with patients who are not responding to patching treatments. To get this treatment at home, you will need an eye doctor to prescribe it.
For more on advanced amblyopia treatment options, call Clarendon Vision Development Center at (630) 323-7300 to reach our office in Westmont, Illinois.