Amblyopia “lazy eye” is reduced vision in one or both eyes caused by abnormal visual development during childhood. Amblyopia is a common problem in babies and young children. Early diagnosis and treatment are very important to help prevent long-term visual problems with your child.
- Strabismus: The most important cause is an optical defect in which the eyes are not straight and look at two different directions.
- Refractive Errors: (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism) which cause amblyopia especially if it is severe.
- Congenital cataract or ptosis.
It is difficult for the parents to notice that, and the child cannot realize that the vision in one eye is normal but in the other is poor. However, the child should get an eye exam by opthmologist if parents notice that the child is:
- Trying to close his eyes or press them when watching TV.
- Trying to bring things closer to his eyes and tilt his head to see.
- Patching the healthy eye for hours, a day specified by the opthmologist based on the severity and the child age.
- Using eye drops such as Atropine which dilates normal pupil and thus darken the vision or using contact lens when patching is not possible.
- Surgical intervention when the doctor detects congenital cataract or ptosis.
- Using eyeglasses or contact lens to correct the refractive errors.