Amblyopia or "lazy eye", is the loss of one eye's ability to see details. It is the most common cause of vision probelms in children. Amblyopia occurs when the nerve pathway from one eye to the brain does not develop during childhood. This occurs because the abnormal eye sends a blurred image or the wrong image to the brain. This confuses the brain, and the brain may learn to ignore the image from the weaker eye. The only way to diagnose a lazy eye is a full examination. However, you should consult with your Optometrist if you notice any of the following symptoms:
Glasses are often the first treatment of a lazy eye, and the child is required to wear them full time. A patch can be put over the stronger eye, which forces the brain to respond to the weaker eye. This makes the weaker eye become stronger. Patches may be used all day or part of the day, depending on the child's age and vision.
Strabismus is a disorder in which the two eyes do not line up in the same direction, and therefore do not look at the same object at the same time. The condition is more commonly known as "cross-eyed". This results in the child using only the better eye to see to avoid double vision.
In many instances strabismus can be corrected with appropriate glasses but in some circumstances surgery is required to align the eyes.