Understanding Amblyopia: A Guide to the Eye Condition That Affects One in 50 Children.

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Amblyopia, commonly referred to as “lazy eye,” is a vision condition that affects around 2% of children. It occurs when one eye has a weaker connection to the brain than the other, which causes the brain to rely mostly on the stronger eye. As a result, the weaker eye’s visual skills don’t develop properly.

Amblyopia typically develops in early childhood and can lead to vision problems that persist throughout life. A child with amblyopia may experience blurred or double vision, poor depth perception, and difficulty seeing fine details.

If left untreated, amblyopia can lead to permanent vision loss in the weaker eye. This is why early diagnosis and treatment are essential.

Causes of Amblyopia

There are several potential causes of amblyopia, including:

– Strabismus: A condition where the eyes don’t align properly, causing one eye to turn in or out.

– Refractive errors: Differences in the focusing power of each eye, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.

– Cataracts: A clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which can block light and impair vision.

Diagnosing Amblyopia

Pediatricians typically screen children for amblyopia during routine eye exams. If a doctor suspects amblyopia, they may refer the child to an eye specialist for further testing.

An eye doctor will typically perform a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose amblyopia. During the exam, the doctor will check for refractive errors, strabismus, and other potential causes of the condition. They may also perform tests to measure visual acuity, depth perception, and other visual skills.

Treating Amblyopia

The earlier amblyopia is diagnosed, the more successful treatment is likely to be. The good news is that amblyopia can often be treated effectively, especially if caught early.

The most common treatment for amblyopia involves “patching” the stronger eye to force the brain to use the weaker eye more. In some cases, eyeglasses or contact lenses may also be used to correct refractive errors that contribute to amblyopia.

In more severe cases, surgery may be needed to correct strabismus or remove cataracts.

It’s important to note that treatment for amblyopia can take several months or even years and may require ongoing monitoring by an eye doctor.

Getting Help for Your Child’s Amblyopia

If you suspect your child may have amblyopia, don’t wait to seek help. Early diagnosis and treatment can make all the difference in your child’s future vision.

At 2020 Vision in Rochester Hills, MI, Dr. Dolan and his team of experienced eye care professionals can help diagnose and treat amblyopia in children of all ages. Contact us today at (248) 375-0040 to schedule an appointment and take the first step in ensuring your child’s vision health.

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