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Amblyopia is reduced vision in one eye caused by abnormal visual development early in life. The weaker — or lazy — eye can also have a turn – inwards or outwards.
Amblyopia generally develops from birth up to age 7 years. It is the leading cause of decreased vision in one eye among children. Rarely, lazy eye affects both eyes.
Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent long-term problems with your child's vision. Lazy eye can usually be corrected with glasses and / or eye patches. Sometimes surgery is required.
Signs and symptoms of lazy eye include:
Sometimes lazy eye is not evident without an eye exam.
Amblyopia develops because of abnormal visual experience, early in life, that changes the nerve pathways between the retina at the back of the eye and the brain. The weaker eye receives fewer visual signals. Eventually, the ability of the eyes to work together decreases, and the brain suppresses or ignores input from the weaker eye.
Anything that blurs a child's vision or causes the eyes to cross or turn out may result in lazy eye. Common causes of the condition include:
Factors associated with an increased risk of lazy eye include:
Untreated, lazy eye can cause permanent vision loss. Lazy eye is the cause of permanent vision loss in 2.9% of adults.
It's important to start treatment for lazy eye as soon as possible in childhood, when the complicated connections between the eye and the brain are forming. The best results occur when treatment starts before age 7.
Treatment options depend on the cause of lazy eye and on how much the condition is affecting your child's vision. Your doctor might recommend:
For most children with lazy eye, proper treatment improves vision within weeks to several months. Treatment might last from six months to two years.
It's important for your child to be monitored regularly in regards a lazy eye. They may require frequent examinations with an ophthalmologist and/or orthoptist.
If you have any concerns about your or your child’s eyes or suspect they may have a lazy eye – Please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic on 021 4341030 or email@example.com
After visiting you last Thursday I started applying your prescription drops and ointment 6 nights ago. I have had wonderful results! I am sleeping comfortably for the first time in years. As you know I had been waking very frequently - up to 5 times, with extremely dry eyes, which was distressing and painful. This is like a miracle for me. I now have hope for the future and thank you most sincerely for your diagnosis, concern and care for my eyes. I wish you and your team every success at the Cork Eye Clinic.
Audrey Donovan (April 2019)