Amblyopia is the leading cause of vision loss amongst children. It’s characterized by decreased vision in one or both eyes due to abnormal development of vision in infancy or childhood. Due to the lack of vision in one eye, the brain favors the other — hence the term “lazy eye”.
Types of Amblyopia
Although there are many different types and causes of amblyopia, the end result is always the same: reduced vision in the affected eye or eyes.
Strabismic amblyopia develops when the eyes are not straight. One eye may turn in, out, up, or down. This is the most noticeable cause of amblyopia.
Deprivation amblyopia develops when cataracts or similar conditions deprive young children’s eyes of vision. If this condition isn’t treated early, children with deprivation amblyopia have the potential of experiencing poor vision for the rest of their life.
Refractive amblyopia happens when there is a large or unequal amount of refractive error between a child’s eyes. The eye may not appear to look different, but the brain is still favoring one eye over the other. As a result, the child’s vision is blurred.
When Should Amblyopia be Treated?
To answer in short: amblyopia should be treated right away. Early treatment is always best. If necessary, children with refractive errors can wear glasses when they are as young as one week old. Children with cataracts or other conditions can be treated as soon as severe symptoms are diagnosed. If you notice that your child may have amblyopia, schedule an eye exam as soon as possible.
In many cases, amblyopia is treated by correcting the refractive error with consistent use of glasses or contact lenses. In some cases, a patch is used if recommended by an ophthalmologist. The child’s vision will be monitored during the time that he/she is instructed to wear the patch to test its effectiveness.
Get In Touch With Pediatric Eye Care Today
Pediatric Eye Care of Maryland takes your child’s eye health very seriously. With a full staff of highly skilled Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, and Orthoptists we’ve got ocular health covered. If you feel any concern about your child’s vision, have questions concerning eye health, or need information on the services we offer contact us today. With 4 convenient locations in Maryland, we are your number one choice for eye treatment.