Archive for July, 2011

The Lazy Eye

Lazy eye or amblyopia is the eye condition marked by reduced vision wherein one eye is strong and the other is weak, hence the term ‘lazy’. Amblyopia almost always affects only one eye but may sometimes affect both and an approximate 3% of children under 6 years old have some form of this disease. Trauma to the eye at any age can cause this disease, as well as a strong uncorrected refractive error (nearsightedness or farsightedness) or strabismus (cross-eyed or wall-eyed), in which both eyes are not aligned under normal conditions. 

Amblyopia should be corrected as early as possible before the brain learns to entirely ignore vision in the affected area. There are lazy eye treatment options that parents can consider to have their child’s vision corrected. These options include:

Corrective eyewear. This is prescribed to children with lazy eyes developed as a result of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.

Eye patches. Disposable non-stick eye patches are available in children’s sizes to stimulate the weaker eye by patching the stronger eye for atleast 2 or more hours a day depending on the severity of the lazy eye.

Eyedrops. Atropine eyedrops that temporarily blur vision in the stronger eye are an alternative to eye patches.

Surgery. This is recommended if a child has severely crossed or deviating eyes. The eye muscles my benefit from surgical repair.