Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
There are a variety of vision impairments that can be caused due to injuries, pre-existing diseases, and/or natural occurrences. Amblyopia (also known as lazy eye) is a common defect that kids and adults experience every single year. Let us share with you some information about amblyopia and treatment options.
What is amblyopia (lazy eye)?
Amblyopia is the medical term that is used for decreased eyesight due to abnormal visual development. When you notice someone referring to their eye(s) as “lazy eye” this is the technical diagnosis that they are speaking of. This is a common disorder that occurs to anyone of any age. In the United States alone there are more than 200,000 cases reported every single year.
While many vision problems require the diagnosis from a doctor/eye doctor, amblyopia can be self-diagnosed by an individual. There are no lab tests that are technically needed, however, it is important to note that you can request a test to ensure that there are no other pre-existing health problems that you are unaware of.
Medicated drops – Drawbacks of atropine include being a prescription eye drop that needs to be filled and an intense stinging sensation on instillation. Light sensitivity is also an issue, as atropine produces a dilated pupil.
Bangerter foils – These can be applied to a spectacle lens of the sound eye to produce a blurred image at both distance and near. As vision improves in the amblyopic eye, practitioners can reduce the grade of blur by changing the foils. These also help promote binocularity and are excellent for older children with cosmetic concerns. However, a Bangerter foil should be used with caution on those suspected of noncompliance, as it could be quite easy to peek around the glasses.
Vision Therapy – While traditional treatment for amblyopia improves monocular function by providing visual input to the amblyopic eye, vision therapy can assist in treating the underlying binocular dysfunction that accompanies amblyopia.6 By initiating vision therapy, the doctor can reduce the total amount of therapy time necessary. Additionally, adding vision therapy to occlusion, partial or total, is considered to be more effective than occlusion alone. Vision therapy can focus on increasing accommodation, improving accuracy of oculomotor skills, increasing vergence ranges, improvement of spatial perception, and breaking suppression and eccentric fixation. The treatment goal is for the patient to effortlessly function with sound visual skills at a high level of binocularity. This high level of binocularity helps improve vision and will prevent the regression of visual acuity after amblyopia treatment has stopped.
Strabismus (Crossed Eye)
Another common visual impairment that we see in our office is strabismus (also known as crossed eye). We always advise our prospective and current patients to seek treatment as soon as possible. Here are a few details you should know about strabismus and how we can assist you or your loved one.
What causes crossed eye?
Throughout the years medical treatments, diagnoses, and procedures have improved in a rapid manner. Thanks to the medical technology that we are able to utilize, it has become an easy process to determine what causes strabismus and how we can treat it. Strabismus [crossed eye] can be caused through genetics, issues of the brain (including the controlled center area), or forced injuries to the muscles or nerves (for example sports injuries to the head).
On a daily basis there are many individuals that live their lives with crossed eyes and not really having too much of a worry about it. We advise all of our prospective and current patients to not let this condition go untreated. As stated earlier, crossed eyes can be because of brain injuries.
If an individual does not address that brain injury appropriately, having strabismus will be the least of their concern if the brain injury becomes worse without any notice.
How can vision therapy help cure crossed eyes?
Strabismus can be corrected appropriately with early treatment. There are a variety of treatments that are available for patients to utilize. Strabismus surgery simply corrects the eyes appropriately and straightens them out. The simple non-surgical treatments that we assist our patients with include vision therapy programs/exercises, contact lenses, bifocals, eye patch, or glasses that not only protects the eyes, but corrects the vision as well.