Treating Lazy Eye by Teaching the Brain to See
Have you gotten corrective lenses for your child, but still notice something is not quite right? Maybe they are constantly rubbing one eye while favoring the other. It is possible that your child has a "lazy eye.” The skilled eye doctors at Christenson Vision Care in Hudson, WI, can help determine if your child has an eye problem. Here are some facts about lazy eye that can help you understand what your child may be experiencing and how an eye doctor can help them.
What Is Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)?
Lazy Eye, or Amblyopia, is a problem with the brain, not with the eye. Even after a person gets corrective lenses, they may still have blurred vision in one eye. The cause of amblyopia may be a developmental problem, possibly with nerve connections, that occurred which keeps the brain from being able to read and understand the information that an affected eye sends it. Therefore, the brain will mainly ignore the images sent from that eye. This lack of recognition makes the eye appear to be "lazy" and will cause it to become weaker. Permanent vision loss in that eye is possible if not treated.
How Can I Tell If My Child Has a "Lazy Eye"?
Without a proper examination, it may be hard for a parent to tell that their child has a "lazy eye,” but it can be easy to notice if a child is having a problem. One clear sign of a lazy eye is if one of a child’s eyes wanders, looking in a different direction from the other.
Amblyopia affects about 1 in 50 children in the United States and is the leading cause of blindness in one eye for Americans. Early diagnosis and Lazy Eye treatment is important for your child's visual health.
Lazy Eye Treatment Teaches the Brain to See
Since Amblyopia is a problem with the brain's ability to read information sent by the affected eye, making the brain use and build better connections with the eye will help to correct the problem.
- Patches: One way to make the brain use a lazy eye is by putting a patch over the good eye. Now the brain has no choice but to depend on the affected eye. The brain will accommodate the new situation by building better nerve connections. The patch will have to be worn for several hours each day. Encourage your child to do activities that will make the eye work, like reading or coloring. Your child may have to wear the patch for several months as better connections with the eye are being formed.
- Eye drops: If your child has problems wearing an eye patch, Atropine eye drops can be put in the good eye. The drops will cause the good eye to be blurry, encouraging the brain use the other eye.
- Eye exercises: Your eye doctor can show you some eye exercises for your child to perform that will force their brain to use the weaker eye.
Children Should Have an Eye Exam before Starting School
Lazy eye is the result of a visual developmental problem in your child. For early detection of developmental problems, it is recommended that every child have an eye exam before starting school. The experienced eye doctors at Christenson Vision Care in Hudson, WI, will help you care for your child's visual health. Call us for an appointment and we will be glad to help your child.