Amblyopia Rarely Causes Vision Loss But Is Still a Risk
Lazy eye, or amblyopia, is a condition that causes poor vision in one or both eyes. Caused by abnormal visual development, individuals with a lazy eye may appear as if one of their eyes is wandering. Lazy eye is common among babies and children when one or both eyes do not develop properly. Typically, amblyopia will develop sometime from the child’s birth until the age of seven.
Fortunately, amblyopia usually only affects one eye, and the other eye sees as it clearly should. Because this condition develops at such an early age, it is imperative that you bring your child to First Eye Care McKinney as an infant. The sooner your child sees an eye doctor, the better. When it comes to visual abnormalities such as lazy eye, early diagnosis and treatment is a must. Thankfully, many cases of lazy eye can be corrected with the help of eyeglasses, contacts, or eye patches.
What is Lazy Eye?
Lazy eye is what most people refer to amblyopia. This visual condition may occur if the eyes do not properly develop together, known as eye teaming. For the eyes to work cohesively, this critical function is necessary. When one eye is weaker than the other, it can cause visual disturbances and make it more difficult for the eyes to see clearly.
What are the most common causes of lazy eye?
Often, what happens is that one eye simply cannot see as clearly as the other. Why does this happen? There are numerous schools of thought, including:
- Extreme nearsightedness
- Extreme farsightedness
- The presence of constant eye turn
- The brain is failing to send the information of one eye
When the brain is not communicating information from one eye, it can drastically impact a person’s binocular vision. In some cases, it appears as if one eye is weaker than the other, which is where the term ‘lazy eye’ came from.
What are the signs and symptoms of lazy eye?
The following are the most common symptoms of lazy eye:
- One or both eyes wander inward or outward
- The eyes are working separately of one another
- Poor depth perception
- Head tilting
Treating Lazy Eye
The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that amblyopia is the cause of permanent vision loss in 2.9 percent of adults. Although this condition does not always lead to vision loss, it is a risk. Correcting lazy eye is possible, but it can be challenging for many patients. This is because the brain needs to be retrained to create new visual pathways and achieve binocular vision.
If a refractive error is the cause of lazy eye, it may be corrected by wearing either glasses or contacts. Individuals with strabismic amblyopia (or lazy eye caused by misaligned eyes) may need surgery to properly align the eyes. To learn more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for lazy eye, please contact First Eye Care McKinney and schedule a comprehensive eye exam today.