Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is a condition that results in impaired vision in one eye. It affects approximately three out of every hundred children. Individuals with lazy eyes have one eye that is stronger than the other, owing to poor communication between the brain and the weaker eye.
Vision requires the eyes and brain to work in unison. This is accomplished by the retina transmitting nerve impulses from the back of the eye to the optic nerve, which then transmits them to the brain. They are then interpreted as the objects you see. If one eye is weaker than the other, your brain may begin to prioritise the stronger eye and ignore signals from the weaker eye.
Lazy eyes, if left untreated, can deteriorate over time. However, the illness is curable. There are several treatment options for lazy eye, including the following:
- Corrective eyeglasses and contact lenses
- Bangerter filter
- Eye drops
1. Corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses
Lazy eyes can occasionally be caused by a difference in vision between the two eyes. For instance, one eye may be farsighted (hyperopia) while the other is nearsighted (myopia). This results in a variation in the acuity of vision between the two eyes. This condition is referred to as refractive amblyopia. Lazy eye can also be caused by astigmatism, or an abnormal curve in the cornea of one eye. These are frequently treatable causes of lazy eye using eyeglasses or contact lenses.
2. Bangerter filter
Bangerter filters may provide the same or a comparable result for children who cannot tolerate eyepatches. These filters are a form of opaque covering that goes over the dominant eye’s eyeglass lens. Full-coverage Bangerter filters should be worn at all times. They can be adjusted in terms of density and opaqueness as symptoms improve. As a result, they may be beneficial as a subsequent treatment once patching has happened.
3. Eye drops
Medicated eye drops can be used to blur the dominant eye’s vision, putting the weaker eye under more strain. Typically, atropine is employed. Atropine dilates the pupil of the eye, resulting in blurred vision. It can be used numerous times daily to impair the dominant eye’s vision, forcing the lazy eye to work harder.
Wearing an eyepatch to treat lazy eye is a straightforward and inexpensive procedure. It contributes to the enhancement of vision in the less developed eye. You should wear the eyepatch over the better-visioned eye for approximately 2 to 6 hours everyday. Your doctor will advise you on how long to wear the patch. It is critical to adhere to your doctor’s directions. Wearing the patch for an extended period of time can occasionally result in the stronger eye developing a lazy eye. When this occurs, the issue is often easily corrected through treatment.
While games and activities that test the weak eye have been demonstrated to be beneficial, they may not be sufficient to correct eyesight on their own. Eye training options include specialised computer or iPad games and activities such as jigsaw puzzle assembly and drawing. Numerous minor studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of training with computer games and films. However, additional research is necessary before it can be judged beneficial enough to be used in conjunction with other therapies, such as wearing an eyepatch.
Lazy eye surgery is performed to correct the length or location of the eye muscles. It may be used when amblyopia is caused by one of the following:
- Droopy eyelid
Surgical procedures for lazy eye may require additional strategies to improve vision, such as eye patching. Additionally, surgery is performed to enhance the cosmetic look of the eye.
Children with lazy eyes frequently go undetected. This could result in eyesight loss.
If you or your child has a lazy eye, it is critical to consult a physician. They can offer treatment solutions that are tailored to the underlying issue, potentially saving you time and eyesight. Ask the doctor if you have any doubts or questions (Soalan) to understand the situation or condition of your child.