Amblyopia, commonly referred to as “Lazy Eye,” is a condition that affects about 3% of children. Amblyopia occurs when there is an imbalance between the eyes, meaning one eye sees well and the other does not. This can occur for different reasons, including when an eye turns out of alignment or when one eye needs a stronger prescription than the other.
If this happens, then the brain chooses to focus with the “good-seeing” eye and begins to ignore the worst seeing, or “lazy”, eye. Once the brain starts ignoring the “lazy” eye, it stops developing a strong connection with that eye. This lack of connection leads to vision loss. If amblyopia is not treated early, the vision loss will become irreversible. Usually, parents or family members notice when a child’s eye is turning and seek treatment for the child.
Another, more silent, type of amblyopia is when both eyes are aligned but one eye needs a stronger prescription than the other eye. This is called Refractive Amblyopia. It can go undetected because the child can see well enough without glasses. The child might even pass many vision screenings if proper care is not taken to specifically rule out Refractive Amblyopia. However, if caught early, Refractive Amblyopia can be treated. With treatment, many children can regain vision. This is one reason I recommend all children get annual eye exams, even if they do not express blurry vision or concerns.
At Dr. Skeete & Associates, P.C., we are passionate about preserving vision and seek to catch visual problems such as amblyopia. This is why you can be confident that your child will only receive the best care when you schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child with our team.