A lazy eye is called amblyopia. Amblyopia is the term for when the vision is decreased in one or both eyes because the brain and the eyes are not working together. This occurs due to abnormal development of vision in early childhood. The brain never receives clear images from the eye or eyes. This is one of the leading causes of vision loss in children.
A comprehensive eye examination will often reveal a normal eye examination. The anatomy of the eye is often normal. The vision is reduced and the brain may be using the other eye more than the affected eye.
How is Amblyopia Diagnosed?
Often children will undergo vision screening at their school or their pediatrician. If your child does not pass their vision screening test, Dr. Stanley Grandon, Dr. Cindy Wang and I can perform a comprehensive eye examination. This includes checking the visual acuity, the glasses prescription, the balance of the eye muscles and checking the health of the eye. We need to ensure that no other problems exist contributing to the decreased vision.
There are different types of ambylopia. Your child may have amblyopia if both eyes have a very strong need for glasses. Sometimes amblyopia can be due to a large difference in the glasses prescription between your eyes. Your child may also have amblyopia if your eye muscles are causing the eyes to not focus straight ahead.
How is Amblyopia Treated?
It is treated differently depending on the cause of the amblyopia. If your child has a very strong glasses prescription in both eyes, we will often prescribe glasses. Sometimes it is required to cover up (patch) the better seeing eye if there is a large difference between the glasses prescriptions of the eyes. If the eye muscles are not functioning properly, this would need to be addressed.
It is important that this is detected in early childhood when the brain and eye are learning how to work together. If amblyopia is not diagnosed and treated early enough, your child may never develop normal vision.
Alaina Kronenberg, M.D.
Dearborn, Michigan 48126