Amblyopia, or a lazy eye, is most often identified in children during a regular optometry visit, typically before their fourth birthday. This type of poor vision only occurs in one eye and is a result of there being a breakdown in how the brain and the eye work in tandem. It’s either this or the brain is unable to recognize sight from the lazy eye. Because of this, the brain will rely more and more on the stronger eye, thus weakening the vision and strength of the other eye. When left untreated, lazy eyes can get much worse with time. Luckily, the professional team at Houston Eye Doctor can help with amblyopia treatment options!
Would you like to discuss possible lazy eye treatment with a professional? Contact Houston Eye Doctor now to get connected to one of our optometrists.
What Are the Common Symptoms of Amblyopia?
It might be difficult to notice the first signs of your child having a lazy eye. Here are a few of the symptoms to be on the lookout for:
- Poor depth perception, difficulty determining how near and far objects are
- Shutting one eye
- Persistent squinting
- Tilting head to the side
The best way to catch any of these issues is to take your child in for a routine eye exam. A trained professional will be able to identify a case of amblyopia quite quickly.
What Causes Amblyopia?
There are a number of causes of amblyopia. Generally, these causes involve anything that blurs vision or causes eyes to cross unintentionally. Here are some common causes:
- Muscle imbalance (strabismus amblyopia): This is the most common cause of lazy eyes. When there is a muscle imbalance between the eyes, it can cause one to work harder than the other one.
- Deprivation: If one eye is suffering from a cloudy area in the lens (such as a cataract), it can impede clear vision. If deprivation amblyopia occurs in infancy, it is a serious concern and must be treated immediately. This can lead to blindness.
- Difference in sharpness of vision between eyes (refractive amblyopia): If your child has different prescriptions in each eye, it can result in nearsightedness or uneven surface curves in the eye (also known as astigmatism).
How Do You Diagnose and Treat Amblyopia?
Treating amblyopia takes on different forms depending on the patient. Here are some of the most common ways doctors treat amblyopia:
- Prescribing glasses or contacts: Sometimes, the best way to help with lazy eye is a simple glasses or contacts prescription. These help with kids who are farsighted or nearsighted.
- Putting eye drops in the stronger eye: This might sound weird, but it’s actually very helpful. A once-a-day drop of atropine can blur near vision temporarily in the stronger eye, forcing the brain to use the weaker eye to see. Some parents find this method easier to use than an eye patch.
- Wearing an eye patch on the stronger eye: When the stronger eye is covered up, the brain must use the weaker one to see. The length of time spent wearing the eye patch depends on the severity of the lazy eye.
What’s the Difference Between Amblyopia and Strabismus?
It can be easy to confuse amblyopia and strabismus. Strabismus affects eye alignment, and causes both eyes to not look at the same place at the same time. Amblyopia affects the eye’s actual seeing ability, or visual acuity. Strabismus is better known as “crossed eyes,” while amblyopia is known as a “lazy eye.” Strabismus is most often corrected with surgery, while amblyopia is treated with non-invasive procedures such as eye patches and eye drops.
How Can Houston Eye Doctor Treat Amblyopia?
If you’ve noticed any amblyopia symptoms in your child, it’s a good idea to bring them in for an eye exam. The optometrists at Houston Eye Doctor have the advanced diagnosis and treatment skills you need. Our team can help discuss options and steps to move forward in lazy eye treatment, as well as prescribe contacts, glasses, or eye drops.
There’s nothing more important to us at Houston Eye Doctor than ensuring you have the highest-quality experience possible with us. We have multiple locations conveniently located throughout the Houston area, including Lubbock, Irving, and Odessa. Each of our spaces contains cutting-edge technological equipment that helps us provide you with the most accurate diagnoses and treatment procedures. Our team offers in-house medical consultations and procedures, so you can get taken care of and back to your life as quickly and smoothly as possible. Come visit the team at Houston Eye Doctor today.
If you think your child is suffering from amblyopia, come visit Houston Eye Doctor or contact us online now.