Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a condition in which the affected eye doesn’t receive the information it needs from the brain to behave normally, resulting in overuse of the healthy eye. Lazy eye results from various vision conditions that, when left untreated, cause the brain to use optic nerves for only one eye while neglecting the other. Amblyopia originates in the following conditions:
- Misaligned eyes or cross-eyes (strabismus)
- Early childhood vision obstruction (cataracts or ptosis)
- Significant differences in refractive status from astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness between the two eyes
While it was previously thought that amblyopia could only be treated in children up to 12 years old, we now know adults can also overcome vision problems associated with amblyopia. Patients of all ages can relieve lazy eye symptoms and regain their visual strength.
How to Treat Amblyopia in Adults and Children
Once a certified developmental optometrist identifies the root causes of amblyopia in a patient and related visual skills, they can develop a well-rounded treatment program that addresses all aspects of the patient’s vision. Amblyopia treatments are the same for patients of all ages. Vision therapists use visual exercises to teach both eyes to work together while viewing both short and long distances, and they may prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses.
The following techniques can be used to improve amblyopia in both children and adults: eye patching, binocular vision exercises, focusing tasks, eye tracking activities, rapid eye movement and fixation exercises, and spatial skill tasks.
The Need for Vision Therapy
Patients achieve normal vision when both the amblyopic eye and healthy eye work together harmoniously. While eye patching improves visual acuity in the amblyopic eye, patients should perform visual exercises with a therapist to reteach the brain to combine input from both eyes simultaneously to sustain visual acuity and develop proper visual functions. Otherwise, the patient risks a relapse, and may once again experience poor visual acuity in the lazy eye several weeks or months after removing the eye patch.
Contact OCVT Today
If you suspect you’re living with amblyopia, turn to OCVT for a free consultation to determine if our treatment options are right for you. Improving your visual health is important for reading, writing, and performing up-close activities with ease and confidence.
After undergoing our evaluation process, our certified visual therapists will help you regain your visual strength with doctor-prescribed and supervised clinical sessions fine-tuned to your needs. Contact OCVT today to address the root causes of your vision disorder. With the right treatments and supervision, you’ll see more clearly and confidently than before.
The content of this blog has been reviewed for accuracy by
Briana Larson, OD, FCOVD, FAAO, FNORA-Executive Director