The medical term for lazy eye is “amblyopia.” It results when one eye is weaker than the other. This can result in an eye that doesn’t look straight ahead when focusing on an object. You may notice in your child that the eye drifts to one side or the other.
Reasons for Lazy Eye
There are different reasons why one eye may not be functioning. For instance, the brain is suppressing signals that are coming from one eye. It can be due to weakened muscles in that eye. Another cause can be trauma, problems with eyelids or a congenital condition such as cataracts.
Testing Lazy Eye
If you suspect that your child may have a problem with their eyes, try these simple tests. One concerns depth perception. This is how we judge distances between objects. It is important in daily life and we use this skill constantly.
Hold an object in front of your child just beyond their reach. Ask them to reach for it. When both eyes can focus on the object, grabbing it is easy to do. But, when one eye cannot see the object correctly, the child may grope around, missing the object even though they know approximately where it is.
Try to see if your child can follow an object around the room without moving their head. The eyes can sense the movement and move towards it. With a lazy eye, only one eye may follow the object around.
Seeing a Doctor
If these tests prove that your child is having this neurological issue, see an eye doctor right away. They can perform vision tests to see for sure if your child has lazy eye. If they do, a diagnosis can be made as to the cause of it.
Treatment for Lazy Eye
Treatment for the problem may involve wearing glasses. The strength of the prescription may lead the rogue eye to move back into position.
Artificially weakening the stronger eye gives the lazy eye a chance to strengthen up. Eye drops that lead to blurred vision in the strong eye are a possible solution. Doctors may also recommend patching the stronger eye. If the child doesn’t want to wear a patch, they can wear glasses that have one lens blacked out.
Vision therapy such as this can help a young child to regain their vision in a lazy eye. Early detection can ensure better outcomes and more treatment options.