Amblyopia is the lack of visual acuity or development in one or both eyes. Also known as lazy eye, it can be caused by different conditions, such as astigmatism or varying degrees of farsightedness or nearsightedness. But despite the myths surrounding amblyopia, it can be treated.
Refractive vs. Strabismic Amblyopia
There are two types of amblyopia that commonly affect 2 to 3 of every 100 children. Refractive amblyopia is the most common, and it occurs when there’s a large difference in refractive error. This is when the images in each eye are different or when one eye works harder than the other to see better. And, instead of the brain ignoring information from one of the eyes, they’ll see double due to the difficulty merging the two images into one.
Strabismic amblyopia is a slightly different eye condition, as it’s more of a visual misalignment of the eyes. This gets the brain confused as the eyes are not pointed at the same place at the same time. And, since the brain is unable to put together what both eyes see, it will ignore information from one of the eyes.
Debunking the Common Myths
- Myth: Amblyopia Doesn’t Affect People Who Have 20/20 Vision
Truth: This myth is common and is sometimes believed by some eye care specialists. However, keep in mind that amblyopia is technically a brain problem that causes the two eyes to not focus on a certain image properly and efficiently. That means people who have 20/20 vision still need professional vision therapy if they have an amblyopic eye.
- Myth: Amblyopia Can Only Be Treated in Children
Truth: The myth that amblyopia causes permanent vision problems if it’s not corrected in the early stages of life is simply false. While it’s a classic example of a type of developmental disorder, the amblyopic eye can still be retrained no matter how old a person is!
If you or your child show signs of lazy eye, don’t hesitate to consult with a trusted vision therapy center in the area. Call Insight Vision Center Optometry today at (714) 486-3315, or fill out our convenient contact form to set up an appointment. We serve Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and the neighboring areas!