Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is an eye condition that develops in early childhood. It is one of the common problems that lead to vision issues in children. Amblyopia is the reduced vision in one eye and the brain favours the eye that works well. Due to this, the other eye gets ignored by the brain and it wonders either inwards or outwards. In most cases, amblyopia affects one eye. But in rare cases, both eyes can get affected with lazy eyes or amblyopia.
Amblyopia should be diagnosed and treated promptly. If left untreated, it can lead to long-term vision problems in your child.
How Do I Know If My Child Has Amblyopia?
Amblyopia begins from child’s birth till the age of 7 years. If your child has amblyopia, you may notice the following signs in your child:
- Difficulty seeing things
- Tilting head to have a better vision
- One eye wanders either inwards or outwards
- A droopy eyelid
- Crossed eyes
In most cases, the signs of amblyopia remain unnoticed in your child. This condition is often determined during a routine eye examination.
What Causes Amblyopia?
Every child will have poor vision during birth. The vision improves as they grow older. But some children may experience vision problems. These visual issues can make one eye to get weaker visual signals. Hence, the eyes may not be able to work together and the brain ignores the weak eye.
The following are some of the common eye problems that cause lazy eye in children:
- Refractive errors: Refractive errors in children such as near sightedness, farsightedness, etc. can cause blurred vision in one or both eyes. If they are not treated, it can lead to amblyopia.
- Strabismus: It is a condition where eyes do not line up in the same direction. When the eyes do not move together and do not match with each other, the brain starts ignoring the other eye and will rely on only one eye.
- Cataract: A cataract is the clouding of the eye lens and it causes blurred vision. The eye will then prefer one eye over the other eye and ignore the other eye. Cataracts are very rare in children and they should be immediately treated to avoid permanent vision loss.
The risk factors for developing amblyopia include the following:
- A family history of amblyopia
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight or small size at birth
- Developmental delay
- Certain genetic issues
Diagnosis and Treatment for Amblyopia
If you ever notice any of the above-mentioned signs of amblyopia in your child, then you should immediately call your doctor. The doctor will perform an eye test and will ask you about your child’s signs and family history. The type of test used is based on your child’s age and his or her development stage.
The treatment for amblyopia should be performed as early as possible to increase the chances of positive results. The treatment for amblyopia for your child is based on the severity of the condition and its cause. The treatment options include:
- Eyewear: Contact lenses or eyeglasses can be used to correct refractive errors.
- Eye drops: Eye drops may be used to blur the vision in the good conditioned eye. This makes the weaker eye strengthen itself.
- Eye patches: Your child will wear an eye patch over the stronger eye to make use of the weaker eye. An eye patch should be used for about two to six hours in a day. If your child is using an eye patch, you should meet your doctor regularly during the treatment.
- Surgery: Surgery is considered if your child has droopy eyelids or a cataract.
The treatment is required until your child’s vision becomes normal. In general, it takes around a few weeks to a few months to get normal vision.
Looking for an Ophthalmologist to Treat Lazy Eyes in Your Child? Visit Think Eye Hospital Today
Think Eye Hospital is one of the best eye hospitals in Hyderabad. It is established by two experienced ophthalmologists who have more than 35 years of combined experience. We can treat any kind of eye problem ranging from minor to more severe issues. We are well equipped with the advanced technology to provide the utmost care for our patients. To discuss your child’s condition, call us and the rest will be taken care of by us.