Amblyopia or “Lazy Eye”

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AMBLYOPIA occurs when the eyes do not work together and do not pass an identical image to the brain. The brain has a natural tendency to ignore the blurred images, because the eye, in which the image is created, is unused and weaker. Typically, amblyopia affects only one eye, which is considered to be the “lazy” one. Amblyopia is often associated with strabismus, and the patient’s eyes seem to look in two different directions.

Causes

Some of the agents that may cause amblyopia may be: history of injuries, diseases of the eye (squint and cataract) and infections, which caused damage to the organ responsible for proper vision. In result, these factors may stop the flow of normal transmission of information through the brain related to the image seen, hence the presence of visual impairment.

Onset and treatment

Amblyopia develops early, usually before the age of 6, and the symptoms are not always clear. The sooner the defect is recognized and treated, the better. Therefore, it is recommended to perform a complete eye examination for children. The symptoms of amblyopia include:

  • eyes turned in different directions
  • poor vision in one eye
  • poor depth perception

In children, the most common treatment for amblyopia is by forcing the brain to use the healthy eye, by putting a patch over the “lazy eye”. This method forces the weaker eye to work harder and naturally improves the mobility and the ability to focus the image. Studies confirm the effectiveness of this method.Another option is treatment with glasses or contact lenses in order to compensate for the difference of vision defects (short or long-sightedness) between both eyes.

With adults, treatment is basically the same, but it takes longer. Most of the time adults will be asked to perform regular exercises of muscles responsible for the movement of the eyeball.

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