Lazy Eye (Amblyopia): Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Dr. Anin Sethi, currently practicing at Mirchia’s Laser Eye Clinic, the best Lasik laser center & Eye Specialist hospital in Chandigarh, talks about lazy eyes, their treatments, and prevention methods.
What is a lazy eye? At what age does it affect the child?
Lazy eyes or, technically called amblyopia. It basically is reduced vision in one eye. This reduced vision cannot be corrected by glasses and no other cause for this defect is not detected either. Vision is developed in children till the age of 7. But when the child has a number but is not wearing the suitable glasses or the child is crossed-eyed, these things affect the development of the eye and contribute to the defect called lazy eyes.
The connection of the nerve from the eye to the brain is not formed or underdeveloped causing lazy eyes. Lazy eyes can be treated up till the age of 12. But after the age of 12, it is mostly impossible to treat lazy eyes.
What are the key reasons for lazy eyes?
- When the child is young and does not realize then he might need glasses because he keeps using the good eye to see. This neglecting can lead to lazy eyes. If one eye has a high number and the other eye has perfect vision, then the chances are that the eye with a high number like 3, or 4 (positive) can be the lazy eye.
- The second reason can be cross eyes. If the alignment of the eye is disturbed. One eye is normal but the other eye is turned inside towards the nose. The child with this type of eye defect uses the normal eye to see and the brain ignores the signals from the defective eye, this becomes completely untreatable after the age of 12.
What are the things that should be taken into consideration?
An eye checkup is a must when the child is 5-6 years of age. This is important because if the child needs glasses it can be diagnosed and Lazy eyes can be avoided. The second thing is alignment, with today’s technology there are sedatives and effective surgeries to correct this. Do not wait for the kid to grow up to get the eyes aligned. This should be done before the age of 7.
What should you do to prevent lazy eyes?
- The normal or the good eye is covered or kept shut so that the child uses the other eye to go about the daily activities, this way the underdeveloped eye gets a chance to develop. This procedure only works in children under the age of 10.
- There are some medicines that are prescribed for lazy eyes, i.e. Citicoline, which is currently under research. It is a one-month course. Occlusion therapy is recommended. If needed a number is assigned (glasses). If surgery is needed the eye is operated on and aligned.
Note: Crucial point is that the child should get a general eye checkup at an early age for lazy eyes to be detected and treated.