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Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)

Lazy eye also known by it's medical name of Amblyopia is a problem with your vision that affects only two to three percent of the population.  What lazy eye is is a condition where the central vision in normally only one eye, does not develop properly. Untreated, this condition could lead to functional blindness in the eye that is affected. The affected eye is still capable of seeing but it is a blurred vision so the brain just stops using this eye.

Lazy eye normally happens in young children, most often before the age of six. A child could be squinting or closing one eye completely to see. They also have eye strain and headaches. If you notice this happening, that child could have lazy eye.

Lazy eye can be caused by a trauma to the eye at any age as well as a strong case of farsightedness or nearsightedness. It is important to correct lazy eye as early as possible to prevent the brain from learning to ignore the affected eye.

Treatment of lazy eye can consist of patching one eye, correct the nearsightedness or farsightedness, atropine eye drops or surgery. Exercises can also be done that helps both eyes work together and makes the weaker eye stronger. If a patch is used, it will be put over the stronger eye forcing the weaker eye to learn to see. Patching can be required for several hours of a day or possibly all day long. it could last for weeks or months.

If eye drops are used, one drop of Atropine would be used. Once placed in the eye, the drop will blur the vision of the good eye which makes the lazy eye work harder to see. Using the drops does have some side effects that you need to think about. These include, light sensitivity to the good eye as it is constantly dilated, slower heart rate in some children and paralysis of the cillary muscle after long term atropine use. This would affect the ability of the eye to change focus.

Surgery can be used for the child that has a physical problem such as strabismus, a condition where your eyes don't look toward the same object together. Surgery will fix the muscle condition that cause strabismus so that the eyes can focus together.

Lazy eye will not correct itself. If left untreated lazy eye can cause permanent  vision problems and poor depth perception. It is best to treat lazy eye or Amblyopia as soon as possible.