“Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) is the most common cause of visual impairment among children, affecting approximately 2 to 3 out of every 100 children,” says the National Eye Institute. When disruptions happen in the body, the brain always compensates by coming up with a new way to handle your body systems.
This is the case with lazy eye, or a condition where nerve pathways between the brain and eyes aren’t stimulated enough. One eye will see more clearly than the other, making your brain favor the one with clearer vision. This can lead to worsening vision in the other eye, causing various symptoms, such as a misaligned or wandering eye. Without treatment, vision can become worse and worse. Find out what lazy eye is, what causes it, and how to help reverse it!
Lazy eye, also called amblyopia, is a condition where the vision–at a young age–doesn’t develop as it should causing one eye to experience decreased vision quality. This weaker eye–lazy eye–will appear to wander inward/outward.
Lazy eye is a result of developmental problems in the brain. Specifically, when the brain’s visual processing centers malfunction, it triggers other problems with depth perception, vision sharpness, and perception of movement. “Amblyopia is the most prevalent neurological defect of vision in children and adults, affecting 1-3 percent of the population,”According to researchers at New York University’s Center for Neural Science.
During the period of birth to 6 years of age, the eye is a critical development period so anything that intrudes this vision development can cause a lazy eye.
The suppression pattern that is occurring with lazy eye can cause permanent vision loss that cannot be corrected with glasses, lenses, or lasik surgery–which is why early treatment is key. The loss of vision that is taking place is in the brain; Lazy Eye (Amblyopia) is a neurological condition. Vision therapy has shown to help with vision recovery and correction. In vision therapy, patients learn how to use the two eyes together, which helps prevent lazy eye from reoccurring.
Amblyopia can be caused by the misalignment of the two eyes—a condition called strabismus. Another common cause is the inability of one eye to focus as well as the other one. Amblyopia can occur when one eye is more nearsighted, more farsighted, or has more astigmatism, reports the NIH.
Early diagnosis and treatment of lazy eye is important for preventing long-term problems with vision. Treatment protocol involves either eyeglasses, contact lenses or eye patches. Lazy eye can usually be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, or eye patches. In severe cases, surgery may be required to correct the issues.
Lazy eye will not go away on its own. If not diagnosed until the preteen, teen or adult years, treatment takes longer and is often less effective.
In an effort to encourage infant eye and vision assessments and ensure they are accessible to everyone, the American Optometric Association (AOA), and The Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., and Optometry’s Charity™ – The AOA Foundation, partnered to create InfantSEE®, a no-cost public health program developed to provide professional eye care for infants nationwide.
Through InfantSEE®, Optometrists provide a one-time, comprehensive eye and vision assessment to babies in their first year of life, usually between the ages of 6 and 12 months, offering early detection of potential eye and vision problems at no cost regardless of income or ability to pay.
According to new data collected by the American Optometric Association (AOA) there is a growing need for early vision examination in infants. The data showed that two groups at greater risk for visual concerns were premature babies and minority babies.
The InfantSEE® program will:
“Early diagnosis (of Lazy Eye) increases the chance for a complete recovery, which is one reason the American Optometric Association recommends that children have a comprehensive optometric examination by 6 months of age and again at age 3.
Our Glendale optometrists will start with a comprehensive eye exam to evaluate the current health of your eyes and advise you on wellness goals. Our team can also provide recommendations for vision correction if needed. Call us at: 303-333-2800 today to make an appointment. Our friendly staff is excited to meet you and help you with your vision needs!