Amblyopia is a condition commonly referred to as a “lazy eye”. It is a result of a lack of coordination between the eyes. When the brain stops processing fully the inputs from both eyes, it then begins to favor the stronger eye which leads to the weaker eye being left unused, hence the term “lazy eye”. In more advanced cases the weaker eye will wander inward or outward. When a patient has amblyopia in one or both eyes, they may not see as well as they expected or have symptoms such as:
Lazy eye is thought to affect over 3% of children and is the leading cause of decreased vision in children.
Following are the few causes of amblyopia:
In studies, it has been found that the eyes do not track well, the eyes do not perceive contrast well. A real deficit can be seen in the amblyopic eye compared to the normal eye. Thus, early childhood exams are important to determine whether a problem has arisen that might not be detected. Most eye turns are really slight. They may not be visible unless special tests are conducted. We recommend everyone have their newborn examined at six months, and then have an annual exam thereafter, to make sure their visual system is developing properly and that they don't have any conditions leading to amblyopia. The problem with amblyopia is that once it has set in, it is hard to remove. Many amblyopic patients never attain full vision or full function in their amblyopic eye if they do not receive treatment early. Time is crucial when treating amblyopia.
A good thing about vision therapy is that it can help amblyopic patients tremendously. There are two main goals when trying to work with a patient with amblyopia: