Lazy eye, also known as amblyopia, is reduced vision in just one eye. The affected eye typically also wanders outward or inward. Early diagnosis and treatment with Dr. Dorothy Park & Associates is essential in preventing life-long vision problems.
Who Is at Risk for Lazy Eye?
This condition develops in children between birth and seven years old. There are factors that can put a child at higher risk of being born with or developing a lazy eye. These include:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Developmental disabilities
- A family history of lazy eye
What Are the Symptoms of Lazy Eye?
An eye that wanders inward or outward is the most common symptom of lazy eye. The other symptoms of this condition include:
- Eyes that don't work together
- Squinting or shutting the lazy eye
- Tilting the head to see things better
- Poor depth perception
How Is Lazy Eye Diagnosed?
Lazy eye can be diagnosed through an eye exam. The type of examination your optometrist performs will depend on your child's age and verbal ability.
If your child cannot yet speak, the eye doctor will use a lighted magnifying device to rule out cataracts. She will also determine how well your child can track moving objects.
If your child is three years old or older and can communicate, the optometrist will patch one eye and used letters or pictures to test the child’s vision.
How Is Lazy Eye Treated?
To prevent permanent vision problems in the future, early treatment is essential. For best results, treatment needs to begin before the age of seven. However, some children will respond to treatment between the ages of seven and seventeen. Treatment options include:
- Eye patches: Your child can wear an eye patch over the stronger eye, which will force the weaker one to work harder, which will strengthen the muscle. The patch is often worn for two to six hours a day.
- Bangerter filter: This filter is placed in the eyeglass lens over the stronger eye. The filter will blur the stronger eye, making the weaker one work harder.
- Eyedrops: If your child won't keep their glasses or eyepatch on, atropine drops will have the same effect by blurring the stronger eye.
- Surgery: If your child's eyes cross or wander apart, your eye doctor may recommend surgery.
If your children are showing signs of lazy eye, bring them in to see our eye doctor at Dr. Dorothy Park & Associates in Columbia, SC, immediately. To treat the problem effectively, lazy eye treatment needs to start when your child is very young. Lazy eye causes permanent vision loss in 2.9 percent of adults who didn't receive treatment as children. Therefore, early intervention is essential. Give us a call today at 803-254-6306.