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Last Updated: May 03, 2023

How to Fix a Lazy Eye

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Dr Suram SushamaOphthalmologist • 21 Years Exp.MBBS, Diploma in Ophthalmology, MBBS, Diploma in Ophthalmology
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What is Lazy Eye?

Lazy Eye, or Amblyopia, is a vision disorder that is characterised by decreased vision in one eye. It can occur for a number of reasons, such as a misaligned or crossed eye, strabismus, or an uncorrected optical defect. 

It usually begins during childhood and affects the ability to use both eyes together for tasks such as reading and sports activities. Lazy Eye does not generally cause complete loss of vision in the affected eye, but it can lead to permanent visual impairment if left untreated. 

Treatment typically involves correcting any underlying causes of the condition and then using corrective lenses, eye patches, and/or vision therapy to train the affected eye with exercises and activities specifically designed to improve its functioning.

What are the signs and symptoms of Lazy Eye?

The most common signs and symptoms of a lazy eye (or Amblyopia) are:

  • Poor vision in one eye that cannot be corrected with glasses or contacts
  • Misaligned eyes (one eye turned in, up, or out)
  • Crossed eyes
  • The appearance of difficulties paying attention to one eye while focusing with the other.
  • Squinting or blinking frequently with one eye
  • Tilting the head to one side when looking at objects

What are possible complications of Lazy Eye? 

Amblyopia, also known as 'Lazy Eye,' is a vision condition in which an eye fails to achieve normal visual acuity, even with optimal correction, due to abnormal visual development.

  • Treatment usually requires corrective lenses and/or vision therapy. If untreated, the affected eye may see worse than 20/400 (legally blind).
  • Complications of amblyopia can include reduced depth perception, headaches and fatigue from having to use both eyes together for other tasks, limited ability to focus on objects at far distances or near distances for prolonged periods of time, impaired peripheral vision and double vision when both eyes are open simultaneously.
  • Strabismus (eye misalignment) can be a complication of amblyopia if left untreated; in some cases the misalignment can be severe enough that it causes further visual loss or aberrant development of the visual system.
  • In more extreme cases, eye damage or even blindness may occur if the condition is left untreated for an extended period of time.

How to Fix a Lazy Eye

Fortunately, lazy eye can be successfully treated in many cases. The most common treatment method is corrective lenses, such as glasses or contact lenses, which can treat both strabismus and anisometropia. 

Surgical resection: Another option is surgery to resect or tighten extraocular muscles; this will align the eyes correctly. If needed your ophthalmologist may use atropine drops to temporarily blurry near vision in the stronger eye in order to improve the weaker one’s focus and power of accommodation.

In addition to prescription treatments, there are some techniques you can do on your own at home that have been found successful in strengthening vision of the weaker eye. These techniques focus on increasing visual stimulation for both eyes and include covering your better eye with a patch or using 3-dimensional glasses during short periods throughout each day as well as playing certain types of visual games. 

  • Prioritise Vision Examinations: Lazy eye is something that develops over time and can be hard to detect on one’s own. Regular vision examinations will allow medical professionals to diagnose and treat amblyopia as soon as possible.
  • Wear Appropriately Fitted Eyeglasses: Poor vision can be the cause of lazy eye in some cases, so wearing the appropriate prescription eyeglasses can help prevent amblyopia from developing or getting worse.
  • Avoid Habits that Strengthen the Dominant Eye: Activities such as watching TV, reading books or playing computer games should be done with both eyes open and head turned in a way that both eyes are equally used without favouring one side over the other.
  • Spend Time Outdoors Every Day: Going outdoors every day exposes a person’s eyes to natural sunlight which helps improve vision by balancing out the hormones within an individual’s body. Natural sunlight also helps strengthen weakened eyes because of its ability to stimulate pathways of communication between our eyes, brain, body and environment.
  • Participate in Vision Therapy Exercises: Vision therapy exercises often involve patching one eye while performing activities that focus on hand-eye coordination, depth perception, visual discrimination, scanning and tracking with both eyes together or independently– all of which help strengthen weaker eye muscles by forcing those muscles to work together during different tasks throughout therapy sessions.
  • Practise Ayurvedic Techniques: Ayurveda encourages methods like yoga poses, pranayama (breathing exercises), Tratak (gazing exercises) and Bhrarna Kasya (head massage). All these techniques work towards strengthening weak eye muscles thus preventing or reducing lazy eye from getting worse over time when practised regularly alongside conventional treatments like glasses/contact lenses or operations if necessary for severe cases of lazy eye syndrome/amblyopia.

What are the surgical treatments for Lazy Eye?

Treatment for lazy eye includes surgical interventions such as corrective lenses and vision therapy, as well as non-surgical treatments like eye patching and certain medications.

Surgical treatments for lazy eye include:

Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and conductive keratoplasty (CK).

  • LASIK: It is a laser vision correction procedure that reshapes the cornea; by reshaping the cornea it can improve the patient’s clarity of vision. 

  • Conductive Keratoplasty (CK): CK works in a similar way to LASIK, but the reshaping of the cornea occurs with radiofrequency energy instead of a laser. Both treatments offer good outcomes with reduced risk of side effects compared to other forms of surgery.

Other surgical treatments include prefractional intraocular lens implantation (PfIOL), intraocular lens exchange (ILE), extraocular implantation (EOI) and radial keratotomy (RK). 

  • Prefractional Intraocular Lens Implantation (Pfiol): PfIOL involves replacing an existing lens inside the patient’s eyeball with an artificial one; this replacement helps address nearsightedness and astigmatism. 

  • Intraocular Lens Exchange (ILE): ILE involves removing an existing lens and replacing it with a new one tailored to match visual needs; it is often used for treating presbyopia-related vision problems and can cause positive changes in near/distance acuity levels in patients with former amblyopia diagnosis. 

  • Extraocular Implantation (EOI): EOI are mini lenses implanted around the lens capsule which help correct visual disorders related to refractive errors like myopia/hyperopia/astigmatism; 

  • Radial keratotomy (RK): RK involves making shallow incisions into the outer edges of the cornea which then re-shapes when under healing process – this reduces refractive errors such as myopia and astigmatism significantly after the recovery phase has been completed.

In addition to these treatments another important element in treating lazy eye is identifying any underlying causes for why it may have occurred such as strabismus or other conditions affecting your eyesight – if these are addressed then treatment for lazy eye often becomes a much more idealised outcome for patient overall quality levels.

Best doctors to consult for Lazy Eye 

Finding the best doctor to consult for a lazy eye (amblyopia) depends on the individual's medical history, age and state of the lazy eye. 

  • Ophthalmologist: Generally, an optometrist or paediatric ophthalmologist can provide diagnosis and treatments for lazy eye.
  • Optometrists: They are usually the first point of contact for individuals with potential vision problems such as amblyopia due to their expertise in measuring eyesight and diagnosing issues. They are also experienced in prescribing glasses and contact lenses if needed as well as providing behavioural vision therapy to improve sight.
  • Paediatric ophthalmologists: They specialise in eye care for infants, children and adolescents including treating issues related to amblyopia. If needed they can suggest surgery or other treatments beyond what an optometrist may be capable of providing.

Lastly, individuals should discuss with their family doctor or general practitioner who may be able to provide primary care services like ordering further tests or directing them to a specialist if there is any concern regarding their vision health.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!

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