Amblyopia is a condition in kids which is also referred to as “lazy eye” and it is usually caused when one eye has very powerful vision compared to another. The main cause behind this condition is the habit of using the stronger eye more while ignoring the blurred image offered by the weaker eye.
How is Amblyopia caused?
A child having clear vision in one eye and comparatively blurred image in another eye would usually suffer from this disorder called Amblyopia. The brain in this case comes across two different types of images and hence faces the issue of alignment. To overcome this problem, brain tends to capture only one image which is clearer and starts ignoring the one which is blurred. This way the eye that is weak would stop functioning the way it should and ultimately become lazy. This is why Amblyopia is also called “Lazy Eye”. The child can read or see things comfortably as one eye offers clear vision and that is the reason why most parents diagnose this problem after months or years.
Diagnosis of Amblyopia
Amblyopia is difficult to diagnose promptly as children never come up with vision issues as their brain is trained that way to interpret the image with one eye. The problem is usually diagnosed when child starts tilting the head to have a better image or displays frequent squinting or crossed eyes. The child suffering from Amblyopia will also show inability to see 3D objects. The problem can be diagnosed either by teacher or parent while observing the kid carrying out his or her daily chores.
Treating amblyopia is more about training the eye than treating it medically. The weaker eye needs to be trained to see and the brain should be trained to receive the signals accordingly. This vision training can be done with eye patches, glasses, drops, visual training, and in some cases surgery. The therapist or the eye specialist would decide which treatment method to use and may sometimes also suggest the combination of both.
- Glasses – This is the first step towards the treatment as this will take care of the internal problem and make the weaker eye work more efficiently. Once the weaker eye is made stronger, the brain will automatically start giving signals to the weaker eye to work.
- Patching the stronger eye – Glasses will cure the affected eye but in some cases there is a need to use eye patch for the stronger eye. These eye patches are used to cover the eye that has full vision or is stronger. The patching exercise may be carried out for 2 to 6 hours daily to train the brain to balance between the visions provided by both eyes. Using the eye drops in stronger eye to blur out the vision can also be the next option.
- Surgery – If the above treatment ideas don’t give satisfactory results and if there is any underlying condition, then surgery may be suggested by the doctor.
Amblyopia is not a disease but it is a brain condition which can be treated with untiring efforts from the parents and the child who is suffering.