Amblyopia, which most people commonly refer to as a lazy eye, is an eye condition in which one eye doesn't focus as much as the other one. This causes the weaker eye (the one that doesn't focus perfectly) to wander. Left untreated, the condition progressively worsens until the brain starts to ignore the wandering eye and the child's vision is impaired.
What Causes the Lazy Eye?
Lazy eye has multiple causes; here are some of the common ones
Any structural problem with your eye can eventually lead to the lazy eye condition. Cataract is one of the eye problems that cause structural issues with the eye. A cataract develops when some proteins within the eye's lens clump together and cloud the eyes. When the brain realizes that the eye is impaired, it starts to ignore signals coming from that eye and focuses on the other one. Over time, the affected eye loses its focus and starts to wonder.
Eye accidents can also cause amblyopia if they are serious enough. This is particularly true if the injury occurs in the first few years of the child's life when their eyes are still developing, and the brain-eye connection hasn't been perfectly cemented. If the injury takes a long time to heal, it may disrupt the eye-brain connection long enough to cause lazy eye to the affected eye.
Other eye conditions may also trigger amblyopia if not treated early or correctly; an example of such a condition is strabismus (cross eyes). Strabismus is a condition in which the affected person cannot align their eyes simultaneously. The condition is treatable, but if it isn't treated early enough, and the eyes continue aligning in different directions, the brain may begin processing signals from one eye in preference over the other eye; this may lead to amblyopia.
Fortunately, lazy eye is treatable, especially if it is detected early enough. Here are some of the treatment options available:
· Correcting the underlying problem that is causing one eye to wander
· Conditioning the brain to start reading signals from the weak eye, for example, by covering up the strong one with a patch
· Surgical intervention (to correct the weaker eye muscles) in extreme cases
Most eye problems are easier to deal with if caught early. Therefore, if you suspect your child is developing a lazy eye or any other eye problem, consult an eye doctor as soon as possible. Those ways the child can get their eyesight problem corrected or learn how to manage. To learn more, contact a clinic like Northwest Ophthalmology.