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Lazy eye or amblyopia is the result of having eyes of mismatched strength or health. Essentially, the brain favors communication from one eye because it relays sharper or more consistent information. As the brain continues utilizing one eye over the other, the weaker eye continues to decrease in strength and ability.

To treat amblyopia, you’ll need to first schedule an appointment with your eye care professional and ask about coping with lazy eye. The root of your treatment plan is strengthening your weaker eye, intensify your brain’s neurological activity and foster a solid communication pattern between your nervous system and weak optic nerve.

Without prompt treatment, lazy eyes can cause irreversible symptoms including blindness. If a child is diagnosed and begins treatment before 6 years of age, he or she will likely make a full recovery. However, treatment beyond corrective lenses is usually necessary because of the disease’s associated neurologically active process. When you speak with your eye care professional, he or she may recommend one of the following treatment techniques:

  • Vision Therapy: Used frequently for children, a customized treatment plan can help you develop focus control, accurate movement and eye coordination, which in turn causes improved brain synapses and boosted activity.
  • Medication: Safe and harmless, atropine drops can be used to blur vision in your healthy eye, which will increase the optic nerve activity in your other eye.
  • Eye patches: By isolating your weaker eye, your brain will be forced to use the associated optic nerve and develop the eye. On your healthy eye, you’ll wear the patch periodically until your eyes are of equal strength and health.

Approximately 4 percent of children suffer from amblyopia and the condition is easily detected with a routine eye examination. Recovering full visual health is dependent on timely action at an early age. If you have any concerns, give us a call and make an appointment.

Written by Tom Lampard

Dr. Lampard graduated from optometry at Pacific University in Oregon in 1981. He and his wife Lorraine have three grown children, all born and raised in Red Deer. Tom enjoys cycling, curling, cross country and downhill skiing, and golfing. He also keeps busy volunteering for the United Way, has been a chairman of the Alberta College of Optometrists, and director of the Alberta Association of Optometrists.

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