Lazy Eye Treatment

Here at Optics & Eye Care, optometrist in Ashburn, VA, we can help with issues revolving around lazy eye. This eye condition, which is technically referred to as amblyopia, is a visual disorder in which one eye gradually develops poorer vision than the other.

Description and Onset of Lazy Eye

Amblyopia typically occurs in younger people, characteristically developing from infancy to 7 years of age. In fact, it is the most common cause of vision problems in children.

Causes of Amblyopia

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recognizes several conditions that can cause amblyopia. These include strabismus, a condition in which the eyes point in two different directions, as well as refractive problems in the eye such as near- or farsightedness and astigmatism. Additional causes are cloudiness or cataracts in normally clear parts of the eye and Ptosis, commonly known as droopy eyelids. All of these conditions interfere with brain-to-eye messaging and coordination. They can all be precursors to, or initiate lazy eye. Genetics can play a role as well. Amblyopia tends to run in families.

Diagnosis of and Treatment for Lazy Eye

A diagnosis is made by an eye doctor by evaluating whether vision in each of the two eyes is the same or different. Usually, this involves covering one eye and evaluating its vision, then covering the alternate eye and repeating the procedure. An eye doctor will likely also perform a complete eye examination, looking for other eye problems or abnormalities that may contribute to lazy eye.

Because this problem typically affects children, the AAO recommends that all young people should have their vision evaluated at or before their 4th birthday. Fortunately, many primary care physicians evaluate a child’s eyes as part of a routine medical examination. If need be, they may refer the youngster to a competent eye doctor.

Treatment of lazy eye often begins with the wearing of an eye patch over the stronger eye in order to strengthen the weaker one by forcing the brain to rely on it. It is not uncommon that several months are needed to sufficiently strengthen the eye with poorer vision. If refractive problems are the root cause of lazy eye, corrective glasses may be prescribed.

Advice for Parents

Many young people won’t complain about vision problems. They may not even know they have a problem. Often, it is a parent or teacher that recognizes that something is affecting a child’s vision. Observations such as frequent squinting of the eyes, crossing of the eyes, or tilting the head are signs that a child’s eyes need to be checked.

Optics & Eye Care

If you are looking for a quality evaluation for lazy eye, here at Optics & Eye Care, located in Ashburn, VA, we can definitely help.  Our lead eye doctor, Dr. Seema Mohanan, O.D., will be happy to provide a caring and comprehensive eye examination. We look forward to hearing from you.