Amblyopia Treatment in San Joaquin County
What Causes Lazy Eye and How to Correct It
Amblyopia, commonly referred to as “lazy eye,” is a neuro-developmental vision condition that affects up to 10 million people in the United States. It usually develops in infancy or early childhood, where one eye has poorer vision than the other. The condition cannot be resolved by eyeglasses, and the weaker eye usually has blurred vision and poor depth perception, making reading and other tasks difficult. At Midtown Optometry, we have a number of lazy eye treatment options to help correct this condition to minimize the impact it has on daily life.
Causes of Amblyopia
A child’s vision develops rapidly in the early years of their life. It changes and improves as they use their sight. However, if they are not able to use their eyes normally, their vision isn’t able to develop properly. It may actually decrease in one eye due to a lack of connection in the neural pathways between that eye and the brain, to the point where the brain suppresses the visual input from that eye to avoid blurred or double vision. Children who were born small or prematurely, have developmental delays, or a family history of lazy eye are more likely to develop amblyopia. Strabismus (wandering eye), ocular obstructions, congenital disorders and Vitamin A deficiency can also cause amblyopia.
Symptoms of Amblyopia
Amblyopia can be hard to spot, as children often learn to compensate by relying on their other eye. If your child is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, it is important to schedule an eye examination so that treatment can begin as soon as possible.
- Squinting, tilting the head, or closing one eye to see
- Rubbing the eyes often
- Poor depth perception
- Issues with hand-eye coordination
- One eye wandering inward or outward
- Difficulty with eye movements, visual focusing, and reading
- Accident-prone or tripping often
- Excessive blinking
- Poor vision in one or both eyes
How Amblyopia Is Diagnosed
Unless one eye is visibly misaligned, it may be difficult for parents to know if anything is wrong. However, there are methods for an optometrist to detect lazy eye, even in infants. During an eye examination, eye drops may be administered to get a better view of the ocular structures. The optometrist will also test the visual skills of each eye independently, by watching how the eyes track an object and how they react with one eye covered. In addition, they will check for other diseases which may affect vision, such as cataracts or inflammation. At Midtown Optometry, we offer free infant vision assessments for babies that are 6-12 months old. This allows us to diagnose and treat visual issues at an early age.
Treatment of Amblyopia at Midtown Optometry
Fixing lazy eye generally involves vision therapy that forces the patient to use the weaker eye in order to strengthen it. The best time to correct amblyopia is when it is first diagnosed, in early childhood. However, vision therapy has also been shown to be effective in adults with amblyopia, although it may takes longer to see results. At Midtown Optometry, we develop treatment plans that are specific to the individual, and may involve some or all of the following methods:
Eye Exercises: This may include exercises to improve eye muscle strength, tracking, depth perception, or hand-eye coordination.
Eye Patching, Therapeutic Lenses, and Eye Drops: All of these are techniques that are used to blur or obscure the vision in the stronger eye, in order to strengthen the weaker eye.
Eye Surgery: Eye surgery is generally not prescribed to treat amblyopia, unless there is a cataract or other eye condition.
Contact Midtown Optometry for Amblyopia Treatment
If you haven’t gotten your child’s eyes checked, or if you are noticing potential signs of amblyopia, contact us right away. The specialists at Midtown Optometry can get eye conditions treated early to get your child on track for good visual health into adulthood.