• Lazy Eye

What is Amblyopia (Lazy Eye): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Ambly­opia in adults and chil­dren is com­mon. How­ev­er, this type of mis­align­ment also known as “lazy eye” can take your vision, and harm your self-esteem. Caused by a break­down in essen­tial mus­cle, and nerve tis­sue asso­ci­at­ed with the eyes, ambly­opia can also result from a loss of con­nec­tiv­i­ty between the brain and eyes. When the symp­toms of ambly­opia start to show in adults one eye becomes lazy or has a ten­den­cy to wan­der inward or out­ward inde­pen­dent­ly of the oth­er eye. This type of unpre­dictable eye move­ment is also com­mon in chil­dren. Ambly­opia in chil­dren usu­al­ly devel­ops dur­ing the ear­ly stages of life (from birth to 7 years of age).

While the rea­sons for devel­op­ing a lazy eye can include genet­ics, overuse, or strain, the most com­mon symp­toms of ambly­opia usu­al­ly occur due to dam­age of essen­tial mus­cle, and nerve tis­sues. Ambly­opia in adults and chil­dren usu­al­ly affects only one eye, and for this rea­son, many peo­ple sim­ply refer to ambly­opia as “lazy eye.” Chil­dren are com­mon­ly affect­ed by ambly­opia as it is the lead­ing cause of vision loss in chil­dren thus, pre­ven­tion is the key to reduc­ing the risk of lazy eye.

If you or your child has symp­toms of lazy eye — nev­er fear. Regard­less of what caus­es lazy eye, there is a range of symp­toms that can be treat­ed eas­i­ly. If you require ambly­opia treat­ment or know some­one who does, learn­ing more about the many ambly­opia caus­es can help you get the right type of ther­a­py.

How Do You Get a Lazy Eye?

There are many dif­fer­ent ambly­opia caus­es for adults, and chil­dren that can lead to a loss of bal­ance in the eyes. Strong eye mus­cles and reg­u­lar vision exer­cis­es can help you main­tain good eye­sight over time. How­ev­er, chil­dren can also devel­op ambly­opia ear­ly in life. A com­mon child­hood health prob­lem, ambly­opia (lazy eye) usu­al­ly responds well to con­ven­tion­al ther­a­pies and ear­ly treat­ment. Usu­al­ly, peo­ple try to avoid ambly­opia by know­ing exact­ly, “How do you get a lazy eye?” 

Here is a list of the 3 most common reasons for lazy eye (amblyopia causes):

  1. Mus­cle Imbal­ance

One of the most com­mon caus­es of lazy eye is known as stra­bis­mus ambly­opia or mis­align­ment. This type of imbal­ance in the eyes begins in the mus­cles that posi­tion your eyes. Back where those small mus­cles and nerve fibers work togeth­er you may expe­ri­ence a loss of bal­ance that leads to cross­ing, turn­ing inward, or out­ward, or even a loss of func­tion.  

  1. Dif­fer­ences in Vision 

The health of your eyes is so impor­tant. With­out healthy, bal­anced eye­sight you may even lose part or all of your vision. How­ev­er, you can always keep a look­out for the signs of devel­op­ing a lazy eye by test­ing your vision at home for sharp­ness. If you notice a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in your eye­sight, sharp­ness, or eye move­ment, talk to your eye doc­tor. You may be show­ing the signs of refrac­tive ambly­opia if you have dif­fer­ences between each eye in an exist­ing pre­scrip­tion. Thus, you may need to fre­quent­ly check for vision changes to pre­vent lazy eye symp­toms. 

  1. Depri­va­tion

If you notice new eye prob­lems or have had issues with your vision in the past, you may have devel­oped ambly­opia. This is com­mon how­ev­er, in its infan­cy urgent treat­ment can be used to stop a loss of your vision. While this is the most severe kind of eye prob­lem, depri­va­tion ambly­opia can affect one, or both eyes pro­hibit­ing clear vision. Nev­er ignore signs of this type of ambly­opia includ­ing cloudy areas, move­ment prob­lems, or oth­er loss of vision in either eye. 

Do I Have Amblyopia?

If you have one eye that has trou­ble stay­ing linked to the oth­er eye it could be wan­der­ing, turn­ing out­ward, or turn­ing inward, and this is known as “lazy eye.” Also called ambly­opia, this loss of eye align­ment may also be linked to a lack of eye­sight and good vision. Peo­ple with ambly­opia sim­ply can­not con­trol the move­ment of their eyes, and may also have oth­er prob­lems relat­ed to vision. If you have ambly­opia it is most like­ly noth­ing to wor­ry about. After all, there are many dif­fer­ent types of com­mon ambly­opia that heal with ther­a­py. 

Ambly­opia is a com­mon eye prob­lem that is usu­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with these risk fac­tors of lazy eye:

  • Pre­ma­ture birth
  • Low birth weight
  • A his­to­ry of ambly­opia (lazy eye)
  • Devel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties 

If you have ambly­opia, you may not think lazy eye fun­ny jokes will make you smile, or laugh. In fact, the jokes about your eye may cause you to feel bad about your appear­ance, or even suf­fer from low self-esteem. How­ev­er, that is not nec­es­sary because you can wear an ambly­opia eye patch at home, in the car, or in oth­er dis­creet areas to speed the heal­ing process. 

How-To Identify Amblyopia in Children

Ambly­opia in chil­dren affects approx­i­mate­ly two to three out of every child in the U.S. but it can be more chal­leng­ing to iden­ti­fy than you think. Look for these signs of Ambly­opia in your chil­dren to help pre­vent wors­en­ing the lazy eye, or caus­ing a loss of eye­sight, and good vision: 

  • Turn­ing the head, or cock­ing it when watch­ing T.V
  • Rub­bing, or cov­er­ing their eyes
  • Repeat­ed­ly squint­ing
  • Hav­ing trou­ble in school
  • Feel­ing frus­trat­ed with home­work
  • Men­tal fatigue after school, or home­work 
  • Motor skills prob­lems 

What Are the Most Common Amblyopia Treatments for Adults?

Asym­me­try between your two eyes, or ambly­opia, is com­mon in adults and chil­dren. The most com­mon treat­ments for ambly­opia in adults include: 

  • Cor­rec­tive eye­wear
  • Ambly­opia eye patch
  • Bangert­er fil­ter
  • Eye­drops
  • Activ­i­ty-based ther­a­py
  • Surgery

Do I Need Amblyopia Surgery?


Ambly­opia eye surgery is an option for an adult, or child with a lazy eye. If you notice the signs of lazy eye includ­ing vision prob­lems, blur­ri­ness, eyes that do not line up, drift­ing eyes, or cloudi­ness in the lens of the eyes call your doc­tor imme­di­ate­ly to dis­cuss it. If left untreat­ed, the symp­toms of a lazy eye can lead to a per­ma­nent loss of your healthy eye­sight, and good vision. 

Perform a simple at-home test for amblyopia by looking for: 

  • One eye that faces out­ward, or inward
  • Inde­pen­dent eye move­ment
  • Invol­un­tary eye move­ment 
  • A loss of sharp vision
  • Lack of depth per­cep­tion
  • Squint­ing, clos­ing one eye, or tilt­ing the head to see
  • Abnor­mal vision test results 

If you have noticed sig­nif­i­cant changes in your vision that you think could be ambly­opia symp­toms, talk to your doc­tor about ther­a­pies avail­able to you. As a last resort ambly­opia surgery is avail­able and may be an option for you. How­ev­er, you may find relief with the com­pre­hen­sive eye and vision tests, along with a spe­cial­ist refer­ral for treat­ment. 

Do not wait to dis­cuss the results of your at-home eye test, and any oth­er con­cerns you have about your vision, or devel­op­ing types of ambly­opia. It is nev­er too ear­ly to pre­vent eye ambly­opia. Always see your child’s doc­tor imme­di­ate­ly if you notice any irreg­u­lar eye move­ments includ­ing wan­der­ing, cross­ing, or cataracts (blur­ring).

If you are con­cerned about ambly­opia in adults, or chil­dren call the offices of Dia­mond Vision, today. You can talk to an eye health spe­cial­ist about how to main­tain healthy eye­sight, and good vision at any age. In the mean­time, use these tips to iden­ti­fy and pre­vent ambly­opia.

October 11th, 2019|Comments Off on What is Amblyopia (Lazy Eye): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

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