What is Amblyopia?
Amblyopia (lazy eye) is poor vision in an eye that did not develop normal sight during early childhood. Usually, only one eye is affected by amblyopia but occasionally, both eyes can develop amblyopia. This condition is common, affecting up to 3% of all people.
Causes of amblyopia
Normal visual experience is essential for normal vision development in children. If a child is deprived of normal visual experience during early childhood (up to first 8 years of life), the affected eye(s) may develop amblyopia.
The causes of amblyopia includes
Diagnosis of amblyopia
It is not easy to recognize amblyopia. A child is usually not aware of having one strong eye and one weak eye since both eyes are used together. Unless there is a misalignment of one eye, a parent seldom realizes that something is wrong. Diagnosis of amblyopia is usually made by trained eye professionals such as ophthalmologists (medical doctors who specialize in eye diseases), optometrists and orthoptists. A trained eye professional will perform a detailed examination on the child’s eyes and will commence the appropriate treatment for any eye conditions that may exist. It is therefore important to have the eyes of children check routinely by qualified professionals.
Treatment of amblyopia
To correct amblyopia, the child must be made to use the weak eye. The treatment of amblyopia involves the following steps.
If amblyopia is not treated, several problems may occur.
Children do not like to have their eyes patched. Therefore it is important for parents to convince the child to do what is best for him or her. The parents’ interest and involvement is crucial for successful treatment.
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