The eyes are the organs, that make us realize the beauty of nature. It roars at us, “Hey! You are just a flesh with no idea about the majesty and madness of mother nature”. The eye is part of your body that shows the exact picture of any material in front of it. It is our prime duty to take care of our eyes to be healthy in order to admire this universe.
Eyes are the windows to the soul. They don’t lie. They just show the truth before you, none other than the truth. It becomes common nowadays, 2 to 3 out of 500 children are affected by lazy eye syndrome. It is medically termed “Amblyopia”.
A lazy eye is a phenomenon in which the visual ability of the eyes is unequal. One of the eye’s visual abilities is better than the other eye.
A lazy eye is not a problem with eyes or their structure; it is a problem with the connection to the brain. This starts from the birth of the child and develops up to 7 years. It usually affects one eye which is called as non-dominant eye or lazy eye or bad eye. The other eye which has the good visual ability is called as dominant eye or good eye. In rare scenarios, it affects both eyes.
If a child has one eye that does not see as well as the other eye, the brain will focus on interpreting signals from the dominant eye, in turn, the non-dominant eye loses its ability to see eventually if untreated.
- One eye that wanders upwards/ downwards/ inwards or outwards
- Eyes that do not seem to focus on objects together
- The trouble with depth perception
Eg: Jumping on alternate steps in stairs while climbing the stairs
- Squinting or shutting one eye to see better or force the eyes to work together
- Tilting the head while viewing the objects
Eg: Watching the Television by tilting the head slightly
- Abnormal results on vision screen tests
A condition in which there is an imbalance in the strength of the muscles between the eyes. So, one eye may move freely, while the other may not. This condition either pushes or pulls the eyes outward or inward, and may also upward or downward. This prevents the eye from co-coordinating to focus on the desired object.
Differences in the refractive errors of eyes. This often occurs due to farsightedness, but rarely due to nearsightedness or astigmatism. This leads to one eye becoming stronger or more dominant than the other eye.
An early cataract, cloudiness on the cornea, or any other problem in the vision of one eye can lead to the other eye becoming stronger than the other. The risk factor is high with this phenomenon. If not treated earlier, that leads to blindness.
There are 2 ways we can deal with this. By the below ways, the treatment can be done.
- Treating the underlying eye problems
- Getting the affected eye to work
Treating the underlying eye problems
Many children with unequal vision or anisometropia do not realize their eye problem, because the dominant eye and the brain compensate for the shortfall. This commends to the worse development in the other eye.
A child with near-sightedness or far-sightedness or astigmatism will be prescribed corrective glasses. This aids in the improvement of vision in turn may work for the upliftment of lazy eye vision. This can be authorized by proper checkups with ophthalmologists. Sometimes, glasses can solve amblyopia, no more treatment is required.
If the existing amblyopia is due to a cataract, then it can be removed surgically under local or general anesthesia. This is also called Phacoemulsification.
Correcting droopy eyelids
The eyelid of a few people is the hindrance to their vision in one eye. In such a case, the usual treatment is to lift the eyelid through surgery. This will treat the lazy eye.
Getting the affected eye / Lazy eye to work
By treating the underlying eye problem with the above-mentioned methods, it is easy to take action to improve vision.
Occlusion/ using a patch
A patch is used to close the good eye/ dominant eye. This aids the lazy eye to work. This in turn sends signals to the brain only via the lazy eye/ non-dominant eye. In this situation, the brain cannot ignore the information given by the lazy eye. This eye patch will improve vision but won’t get rid of an eye turn.
The duration of the treatment depends on the severity of the problem and the coordination of the child by adhering to the instructions of the ophthalmologist. Constant encouragement is needed for the child to do close-up regular activities with patches like reading, coloring, or any sort of schoolwork or playtime activity.
Atropine eye drops
This is nothing but blurring the dominant eye/ good eye which in turn stimulates the lazy eye to work. But it is not advisable; since it may reduce the visual capability of the good eye and also irritate the children to cope up with the change.
Various exercises and games were designed, aiming to improve the vision of the affected eye. According to the experts, this is helpful for older children.
Eye surgery is performed in order to improve the appearance of an eye turn. It results in better alignment of the eyes. The fruitfulness of the surgery is 50:50.
Normal home-based exercises usually do not cope initially. So, proper diagnosis and treatment have to be done under the proper instructor for stopping the abnormal effects, eventually, the lazy eye will be trained by corrective surgery and exercises apparently.
Lazy eyes not treated properly may lead to loss of eyesight and blindness.
We know “Better late than never” and also “ Better safe than Sorry” so, periodic attention to the activities of the child and testing routine helps to diagnose any problems in the starting stage and can be cured with constant effort and patience.