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A Case of the Lazy Eyes: How Does it Happen and How Do Medical Eye Exam Fix it

According to the American Optometric Association, around 2–4% of children in the US have amblyopia, or lazy eye.  This is a condition that causes a reduction in vision and results in the eye often “wandering off”. If left untreated, the disorder can create significant vision problems both during childhood as well as in adulthood.



What Causes Lazy Eye?


The Lazy eye develops in early childhood, due to abnormal visual development. It typically affects children up to 7 years of age, mostly in just one eye. The weaker of the two eyes has altered nerve pathways connecting the retina and the brain. It receives fewer visual signals, resulting in a decreased vision in that eye.


Lazy eyes may be caused by anything that acts as an obstruction in a child’s vision, blurring it. Some of the most common types (and causes) of this condition include:


Strabismus Amblyopia


This is caused by a muscle imbalance which forces the eyes to either turn outward or cross.  The muscles responsible for repositioning the eyes are affected, preventing the eyes from functioning together in harmony. As a result, they’re unable to locate or keep track of objects within sight together, causing a lazy eye.


Anisometropic Amblyopia


This form of amblyopia is caused by a refractive error. The latter refers to the inability of the light to be focused accurately on the retina once it enters the eye. This may cause the child to become either more nearsighted or farsighted in one eye, which is also affected by amblyopia.


Stimulus Deprivation Amblyopia


Although not as common as the other two types, stimulation deprivation amblyopia occurs when one of the eyes faces a problem that inhibits its vision. This prevents it from seeing as clearly as the other eye, making it weaker. Although the most uncommon type, it’s also the most severe one and can cause permanent vision loss.




How Can Lazy Eye Be Treated?


The best way to treat a lazy eye is by addressing its underlying causes. Moreover, the earlier the condition is detected, and treatment begins, the better the chances of it being successful. An eye doctor may recommend:


Eye Drops


Certain eye drops may be prescribed to blur the vision in the healthy eye for a short while. This allows the patient to instead use their weaker eye for seeing, and promotes its health.


Eye Patch


Alternately, your doctor may suggest you wear an eye patch on your healthy eye. This again helps in strengthening your weaker eye. You can wear the eye patch for 2–3 hours a day or as per your doctor’s recommendations.


Glasses/Contact Lenses


Corrective equipment such as glasses or contact lenses may be prescribed to treat a lazy eye. This is especially the case for patients who are either near or farsighted in one eye, or have astigmatism.


Get a medical eye exam at our clinic in North Miami today for enhanced eye health! Make an appointment now by calling us at 786-500-2020.

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@2019 Dr Nicolas Gilberg OD PA