What Parents Need to Know about Childhood Amblyopia Treatment
Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is the leading cause of vision loss in children. The good news about amblyopia in children is that early treatment prevents life-long problems with vision. Here is what our eye doctor at Exquisite Eye Care, serving Houston and Friendswood, wants parents to know about amblyopia treatment.
Amblyopia Doesn't Always Present an Obvious Need for Treatment
Amblyopia is a condition that can begin in infancy but usually begins by the age of seven. A weaker eye wanders outward or inward rather than focusing with the other eye. Over time, the brain may learn to ignore a lazy eye so that the child becomes functionally blind in that eye.
In most cases, the lazy eye will be obvious. There won't be any doubt you need to take your child to your optometrist for treatment. You will know your child's eyes aren't working together.
But sometimes the symptoms of amblyopia aren't obvious. Children who have amblyopia may tilt their heads a lot, or squint a lot, or shut one eye when they want to look at something. And sometimes amblyopia isn't caught until parents take their children to the eye doctor for their routine eye exam.
Anything that Blurs a Child's Vision Can Cause Amblyopia
The most common cause of amblyopia is a kind of muscle imbalance called strabismus. The muscles that position the eyes don't work together, so the child comes to favor one eye over the other. Treating crossed eyes helps the lazy eye.
Another common cause of amblyopia is a difference in the sharpness of vision between two eyes. This condition is known as refractive amblyopia. A child may be nearsighted or farsighted or have astigmatism in one eye, but not the other. Glasses or contacts correct vision in the lazy eye.
The most destructive form of amblyopia is deprivation. Sometimes there is something in one eye, like a cataract, that blocks vision in that eye. When this occurs in an infant, correction is urgent to prevent permanent vision loss.
Timely Eye Care Usually Resolves Amblyopia
Treating amblyopia can be as simple as having a child wear a patch on the active eye to force the other eye to work harder. Another common solution is wearing glasses. Most cases of childhood amblyopia can be resolved by a series of trips to our eye doctor.
Even infants need eye exams, as do children who are not yet in school. Most children need to be seen by their optometrist once a year.
The Best Time for Treating Amblyopia Is Now
Exquisite Eye Care is available to take care of all of your family's vision needs. Request your appointment online, or call us at (281) 580-3937 for appointments in Houston or (281) 482-2015 for appointments in Friendswood. The offices of Exquisite Eye Care are located at11509 Veterans Memorial Dr, Suite 900, Houston, TX, 77067, US and 305 W. Parkwood Ave., Friendswood, TX, 77546.