Amblyopia is reduced vision in an eye that has not received adequate use during early childhood .It usually affects one eye. It is the most common cause of visual disability in children.
What causes Amblyopia?
It may occur due to:
Misalignment of a child’s eyes due to squinting.
Difference in image quality between the two eyes due to cataract or corneal opacity.
Difference in image size and clarity due to large difference in numbers between the two eyes.
As a result the brain suppresses the weaker image and this eye begins to lose vision.
Can it be treated?
Yes, with early diagnosis and treatment. Results are best if treatment is initiated before 5 years of age. The response to treatment is very poor after the age of 8 years.
How early should treatment be started?
As soon as the condition is diagnosed treatment should be initiated. The earlier the treatment is initiated the better the chances of reversing vision loss.
Before treating amblyopia it is necessary to treat the underlying cause of amblyopia.
Glasses or contact lenses. Can be prescribed when the child is as young as one week of age.
Eye exercises (e.g. Patching and Cam Stimulation).
Surgery in case of misalignment (Strabismus) or cloudy vision (Cataract).
What happens if it is not treated?
If not treated the amblyopic eye may never develop good vision and may even become functionally blind.
How can one prevent Lazy eye or Amblyopia?
Early detection and treatment is vital to prevent permanent visual loss. Hence every child should undergo an eye check up between the ages of 3 to5 years to rule out refractive errors (spectacle no.) and earlier if there is any squinting of the eyes or white reflex in the eyes..