Amblyopia is a vision disorder that happens when one or both of your eyes do not fully develop. It’s a common problem among infants and children. Insight Vision Center Optometry, your trusted vision therapy center, discusses this problem in more detail below.
What Causes Amblyopia?
Amblyopia is often a complication of other vision problems. In fact, it has three general classifications based on its cause. Strabismic amblyopia is the most common form. It happens when one of your kids’ eyes is misaligned, sending mixed light patterns to their brain. As a result, the nervous system may be confused, forcing it to ignore image signals from the affected eye. When left unmanaged, this may eventually lead to the weaker eye’s loss of function, which is why this condition is also known as “lazy eye.”
Refractive amblyopia, on the other hand, occurs when your children’s eyes have different levels of visual acuity or varying refractive errors. Lastly, deprivation amblyopia develops when obstructions, like cataracts, block light rays from entering your kids’ eyes.
How Is Amblyopia Managed?
The first thing we’ll do during your children’s eye exam is to measure their visual acuity. This way, we can identify if one eye has a different refractive problem than the other. If this is the case, we then perform a retinoscopy exam to determine the most appropriate lens prescription for your kids’ eyewear. We may also check if they need scleral lenses or other specialty lenses.
We can also include occlusion techniques in your children’s treatment plan, such as an eye patch on their stronger eye. Since it won’t be able to pick up light patterns, your brain has no other choice than to rely on the signals sent by the weaker eye. Atropine eye drops use the same principle. It causes the unaffected eye to temporarily lose its accommodation functions, blurring your kids’ vision. As a result, the nervous system will be forced to use the images sent by the misaligned eye.
Vision therapy is another method that helps manage lazy eye. It involves doing certain eye exercises for a specific period with the goal of stimulating the proper development of your children’s eyes. It also helps improve their ocular functions, including binocularity, accommodation and oculomotor skills.
For more information about amblyopia, call us at (714) 988-6179. You may also complete our form to request an appointment. We serve Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and nearby California areas.