Diagnosis and Treatment of Amblyopia by Our Eye Doctors near Greenville
When one eye fails to develop a normal central vision and is not caused by eye diseases, your optometrist may diagnose this condition as amblyopia, or "lazy eye". Amblyopia does not impair peripheral vision. Early diagnosis of amblyopia significantly increases treatment outcomes. If the diagnosis of amblyopia is delayed until a child is a teenager or an adult, treatment will take longer and may be less effective than when provided at a younger age.
Signs of Amblyopia
If you notice one of your child's eyes wandering outward or inward after six months of age, make an appointment with your optometrist at Carolina Vision Care. Other potential symptoms of amblyopia include:
Odd head tilting movements (young children may do this to compensate for impaired central vision)
Frequent falls or uncoordinated movements (indicates poor depth perception)
Eyes that do not appear to be working together
Shutting or squinting one eye (this means a child may be relying on their "good" eye for seeing)
Child complaining of not seeing well out of one eye in comparison to the other. Making sure your child receives frequent eye examinations is important so that your child’s vision is protected.
What Causes Amblyopia?
Early in life, certain conditions within the eye and surrounding eye muscles interfere with normal functioning of nerve pathways between the brain and retina. As the weaker eye receives fewer and fewer visual signals, the ability of both eyes to work together decreases. Ultimately, the brain simply ignores visual input produced by the weaker eye which causes amblyopia. There are several different types of Amblyopia including:
- Strabismic (eye turn)
- Refractive (extreme differences in prescriptions between the two eyes)
- Deprivation (cataracts, droopy eyelid)
Eye Care and Treatment for Amblyopia
If your eye doctor
s diagnoses your child with amblyopia, they will recommend one or more of the following treatment protocols:
- Wearing an eye patch over the stronger eye to force the weaker eye to improve. This helps to improve overall muscle control and visual acuity.
- Wearing eyeglasses with lenses that blur the vision of the good eye but do not interfere with the vision of the weaker eye. Some children may prefer wearing eyeglasses over an eye patch.
- Using atropine eye drops daily that temporarily blur vision in the stronger eye allowing the weaker eye to improve.
- Combining treatments with vision therapy designed to strengthen eye muscles, improve eye coordination and optimize visual signaling between the brain and the eye.
In rare cases, optometrists may recommend surgery for correcting underlying eye conditions causing amblyopia.
Contact Carolina Vision Care for More Information on Amblyopia
To ensure your child is not experiencing amblyopia, refractive errors, or other vision problems, please call our optometrists in Greenville today at (252) 752-4380.