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Home » News and Events » What is Lazy Eye? Treatment in Myrtle Beach, SC

To achieve adequate sight, it is necessary for the eyes to operate in cooperation with each other and with the brain. When this process doesn’t function properly, a condition called amblyopia, or lazy eye, can occur. In most instances of lazy eye the eyes themselves are usually in good health however good vision cannot be achieved by just the use of prescription lenses. Left untreated amblyopia can cause severe visual impairment, including loss of sight in that eye.

Lazy eye is the most frequently diagnosed vision disorder in childhood. Since it typically starts in the developmental stages of infancy, the condition can be challenging to detect. Unless it is adequately treated at an early age, the likelihood of complete vision restoration is reduced. Treatment usually works faster and more effectively for those who begin prior to entering pre-teen years.

This is why it is crucial to have your child’s eyes tested at an early age. According to the AOA (American Optometric Association) children should have a complete optometric examination at six months and again at age three.

What are the Causes of Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)?

Lazy eye may be caused by any condition that affects typical eye and vision development. One common cause is strabismus, an imbalance in the location of the eyes. Strabismus can cause the eyes to cross in (esotropia) or turn out (exotropia) and therefore aren’t able to work together. Lazy eye can also be caused by a condition where one eye is more nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic than the other eye. This condition is called anisometropia. On occasion, lazy eye is the result of other eye conditions such as a cataract or some other structural impairment.

How is Amblyopia Treated?

Amblyopia is treated by efforts to attain proper visual acuity to both eyes. In addition to wearing prescription eyeglasses or contacts, the most common way to do this requires strengthening the weaker eye by occluding the good eye. A few treatment options exist to occlude the better eye and the treatment is selected depending on the patient’s situation and a consultation with an eye doctor.

Very often you will see a patch used to cover the good eye. The patient is then compelled to use the weak eye, which promotes vision in the underdeveloped eye and assists the visual processing system to develop more completely. However this treatment greatly depends on compliance of the patient to wear the patch, which can be difficult with many children.

Some optometrists choose to use atropine. When placed in the good eye, atropine drops temporarily impair the vision to force the preference of the other eye.

Some vision can be improved by vision devices alone, such as prescription glasses or contacts that restore vision to each eye, yet this is rare. Further, vision therapy to train the eyes to function as a team or in some cases surgery might also be suggested.

Because lazy eye is the result of a problem with the proper development of the visual system, younger patients often experience more success with treatment. Still, there are many factors that are involved and therefore anyone who thinks they or their child has amblyopia should consult as soon as possible with their optometrist If you are in need of lazy eye management in Myrtle Beach, SC, contact us to schedule an appointment. Lazy eye doesn’t get better on its own so don’t wait to start treatment to repair your vision!