Lazy eye medically referred to as amblyopia, is a type of vision problem that causes poor or weak vision in one eye due to a breakdown in communication between the eye and your brain. The lazy, or weaker, eye begins to wander inward or outward.
Over time, your brain relies more heavily on the stronger eye, causing vision in the weaker eye to worsen. Lazy eye most often develops between birth and age 7.
Lazy eye symptoms may vary and can go unnoticed in children. Common symptoms of lazy eye include:
An eye that wanders inward or outward
Poor depth perception
Squinting or closing one eye
Eyes that don’t seem to work together
Because lazy eye symptoms in children are difficult to spot, Dr. Kirschen recommends all children aged 3 undergo a vision screening to assess childhood eye conditions like lazy eye.
Your child may be at risk of lazy eye if they were born premature, have developmental disabilities, or there’s a family history of the vision problem.
Dr. Kirschen specializes in pediatric optometry and the diagnosis and treatment of lazy eye. To diagnose lazy eye, he performs an eye exam that includes vision tests and assessment of eye health and movement.
Treatment for your child’s lazy eye depends on your child’s age, the underlying cause of the eye condition, and your child’s vision needs. Dr. Kirschen recommends starting treatment as early as possible while the connections between the eye and brain are still forming.
Your child’s treatment plan may include:
Patching of the stronger eye to strengthen the weaker eye
Bangerter filter (patching tool for eyeglasses)
In some cases, Dr. Kirschen may recommend surgery to correct any underlying eye conditions, such as cataracts, strabismus, or droopy eyelids. Your child may also need surgery to straighten the eye, which is used in conjunction with the other treatments aimed at improving vision in the weaker eye.
To schedule an eye exam for your child for a lazy eye evaluation, contact Customized Vision Care by phone or online today.