Lazy eye is also known as Amblyopia. Lazy eye is an early childhood condition. In this condition generally one of the eye doesn’t develop completely. The eyesight problem is usually associated only in one eye, but can rarely affect both the eyes.
The eye which has amblyopia has poor focusing problem (refractive errors), hence we use the term LAZY EYE for that eye. If that eye is not seeing clearly in the first few years of life does not stimulate the visual brain cells to mature normally. In India this condition affects approximately 2% to 3% of all children. It is one the reason for partial or total blindness in one eye (monocular blindness) in India.
The term LAZY EYE is inaccurate, because the eye is not lazy. In fact, it would probably be more accurate to say LAZY BRAIN, because it is a developmental problem in the brain. In these patients structurally both eyes are normal but functionally they differ from each other.
The signs and symptoms of a lazy eye may include:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Poor depth perception (of vision)
- Eyes do not appear to work together
- A squint (either upwards, downwards, outwards, or inwards)
It is important for a child to have a eye check up. In most countries the first eye exam occurs at the age of 3 to 5 years. It is especially important to have an early eye check if there is a family history of crossed eyes, childhood cataracts or other eye conditions. Parents who see their child’s eye wandering after they are a few weeks old should tell their doctor.
How is lazy eye diagnosed?
Vision problems, any level of blindness in one eye – Amblyopia – ideally, needs to be detected before the child is six years old. In many cases children and their parents does not notice that he/ she has lazy eye. Hence to avoid delayed diagnosis it is important to undergo routine eye check up
Routine eye examination?
Generally children have their first eye examination between the ages of 3 and 5 years, or before they start school. This means that most cases of Amblyopia are diagnosed, and subsequently treated.
If the ophthalmologists suspects the child has lazy eye further tests will be carried out before a diagnosis is reached. Each eye is tested separately to determine whether there is any short- or long-sightedness, and how serious it is. The child will also be carefully tested to determine whether there is a squint. The eye test will also determine whether the child has astigmatism or any other abnormality.
What are the treatment options for lazy eye?
An ophthalmologist and an optometrist usually treat children with lazy eye. Treatment need to start as early as possible because after a child is eight years old the likelihood of effective treatment drops significantly. However, evidence that the brain regions responsible for vision that is capable of adapting in adults offers new hope for those with lazy eye.
There are two approaches to lazy eye treatment:
- Treating an underlying eye problem.
- Getting the affected eye to work so that vision can develop.
Any adult suffering from Lazy Eye can undergo refractive surgery for correction of his/her spectacle number with expert ophthalmologist consultation.
To know more about eye examination, diseases and treatment guidelines,
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