Amblyopia and Children: Treatment Options
Amblyopia, also called Lazy Eye, is a vision development disorder that can progress and cause vision loss. It can result from any condition that prevents one of the eyes from focusing correctly during the early stages of development. Early diagnosis from our Maple Ridge optometrist helps ensure that amblyopia is successfully diagnosed and treated. In fact, our eye doctors are experts in pediatric eye care, who can detect vision problems like amblyopia in a very young child or infant.
Ensure that your children have the best possible vision throughout life, especially during the crucial early years of learning and schooling, by getting regular pediatric eye care. It is estimated that 2 to 4% of children under the age of 6 have amblyopia. Be sure your child starts seeing your Maple Ridge optometrist early in life (by the age of 6 months) so we can diagnose any issues with eye health, like eye alignment abnormalities or crossed eyes, and begin treatment, especially as treatment becomes more difficult as your child ages.
Causes of Lazy Eye include:
- Strabismus: This eye misalignment problem causes blurry and/or double vision. In response, the brain may start ignoring the input from one eye, which becomes amblyopic (from lack of use).
- Refractive error: When one eye is significantly weaker than the other eye, the brain may begin “tuning out” or “turning off” one eye and creating amblyopia.
- Light deprivation: If your child is born with a cataract in one eye, this can prevent light from getting to the infant’s retina. That eye will be tuned out and become amblyopic.
Amblyopia Treatment from Your Maple Ridge Optometrist
Amblyopia treatment from our Maple Ridge eye doctor starts with a comprehensive diagnostic eye exam for your child. The pediatric eye exam can reveal if your child has a amblyopia, an eye teaming problem or another eye health issue. Our optometrist will isolate the cause of the amblyopia if it is present.
Treatment options for amblyopia may include vision therapy, prescription eyeglasses, prismatic lenses and/or temporary eye patching to help the weaker eye become normal and improve the child’s vision. Vision therapy involves strengthening and training your child's eye muscles to work properly, together. This is done through specific eye movements and exercises, taught and supervised by an optometrist.
To schedule your children’s first eye examination or if you suspect he or she may have amblyopia, contact Maple Ridge Eye Care. Call us at 604-463-4469 today.