Thursday, December 10, 2009

Amblyopia or Lazy Eye

Amblyopia, often referred to as a lazy eye is generally develops in young children, before the age of 6. It affects just two to three percent of the population but left untreated can have a large impact on learning and development.
What is Amblyopia? Amblyopia is when central vision fails to develop properly, usually in one eye. Strabismus or untreated refraction can be common causes of this problem.

If left untreated Ambyopia can cause functional blindness, which means the eye can still see but the brain has essentially turned off because of the blurry vision.

Signs of Amblyopia include:
-Overall poor visual acuity
-Squinting or completely closing one eye to see

What causes Amblyopia? A strong uncorrected refractive error (nearsightedness or farsightedness) or strabismus. Trauma to the eye can also cause Amblyopia at any age.
It is very important to find and treat as early as possible, before the brain completely shuts down vision to the affected eye.

Treatment for Amblyopia:
Children can be treated with vision therapy which may include patching one eye, atropine eye drops, prescription eyeglasses, or even surgery.

Amblyopia will not go away on its own, and as always is better treated sooner than later.

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