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What Is Amblyopia, also Known as Lazy Eye? Symptoms and Treatment

Amblyopia also known as lazy eye, is often commonly found in children. As the most often recorded visual impairment, it is often treatable and many tend to go on and live their lives with healthy vision. If you feel like your child is suffering from amblyopia, there are options for them to receive care and to live a normal life.

Causes

When a child’s brain is developing, it is extremely sensitive to how often the eyes are used. Amblyopia is often developed when one eye is not used enough and the other tends to compensate. As a result, the brain tends to rewire itself to not need the unused eye. While it is most common for young children to develop this condition at six to nine and professionals agree that attempts to correct it should be made before adolescence, those older than nine can still benefit from care.

Symptoms

Other eye conditions can often lead to amblyopia. Glaucoma has been known to damage vision and can often lead to the use of one eye over the other. Strabimus can also lead to a lazy eye since the eyes are already often crossed. Cataracts are also another issue that tends to cloud the lens of the eye and can make it difficult to see.

Many patients find out they have amblyopia once they visit their eye doctors. A routine exam is an important factor in determining whether or not your child might have problems with his or her vision. It might also be noticed by friends or family as the child gets older.

Treatment

Treatment is often easy and requires only patching the stronger eye, forcing the weaker one to do most the work and to make it easier to see through use. While your child might have difficulty seeing at first, it often doesn’t take long before the problem eye starts to adjust. Drops made of atropine are sometimes also recommended. This dilates the pupil in the good eye and makes vision fuzzy, requiring the bad eye to do most the work of seeing.

Because children are unlikely to know that there is something wrong with their vision, visiting an eye doctor at that critical age is incredibly important. Children should have an eye exam once a year in order for you to know that there aren’t any problems.

Fortunately, amblyopia is very treatable and most can go on to see well in their adulthood.