Dr. Jim Martin 07/17/2014

 2105559_orig.pngLazy eye, or amblyopia, is an eye condition in which the brain favors one eye over the other to the point that normal binocular vision does not develop. This situation leaves your child with one eye able to see clearly, while the other remains unfocused or uncontrolled. The imbalance can often be treated and the brain retrained to use the blurry, second eye.

What Causes Lazy Eye?

Your child's lazy eye may be the result of many different factors. The two most common forms which develop are:

Refractive Amblyopia — As the vision of your infant progressed, one eye may have become more nearsighted or farsighted than the other, making it very difficult for the brain to combine the two images into one clear picture. The brain then chose to suppress the information coming from the blurry eye in an effort to maintain and further develop clear, focused vision and preventing binocular vision.  

Strabismic Amblyopia — Crossed, or wandering eyes, are called strabismus. This condition leaves the brain unable to combine the picture of both eyes because one eye, while straight and controlled, cannot match the second image which is often at a different angle. Unable to control and focus the second eye which will point up, down, or sideways, the brain chooses to concentrate visual efforts on the eye which is straight and provides the better image.

How To Treat A Lazy Eye

At the root of amblyopia is a combination of lack of control and development in the lazy eye as well as the brain coordination to address these issues. There are three basic methods that are used as treatment to improve the visual acuity of your child.

Patching: Using an eye patch to cover your child's non-lazy eye for short periods based on a schedule provided by an optometrist is a noninvasive method to force the lazy eye to be used and more control to be obtained.

Surgery: The surgical portion of this treatment option is more a cosmetic solution than therapeutic. It is used to correct the eye to a forward position.

Vision Therapy: Much like physical therapy, this approach to lazy eye retrains the brain to use both eyes simultaneously. It develops the ability to focus and use the lazy eye, filling the gaps in normal development that were missed, or suppressed, in early growth. Vision therapy can provide long term results for your child.

If your child has been diagnosed with lazy eye (Amblyopia) the Amarillo eye care specialists at Broome Optical can provide you with the necessary guidance and treatment options that will best benefit your child's individual needs. Make an appointment today for a consultation because "Life is Worth Seeing."

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