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Does your child have a lazy eye?

Saturday, January 15th, 2022, 12:36 am

Portrait of funny child in new glasses with patchIt can be a bit difficult to tell if your child has a lazy eye, but this is definitely something you want to watch out for. A lazy eye can result in long-term problems if it is left untreated. Fortunately, it is very easily treatable. Read on for some more information about this condition and how your eye doctor can help.

What is lazy eye?

A lazy eye (also known as “amblyopia”) is when one eye has reduced vision compared to the other eye. This results from the pathways between the brain and the weaker eye not functioning properly; after a time, the brain starts to favor the stronger eye. The lazy eye may start to turn inward or outward and vision is affected. Besides decreased vision, the child may have poor depth perception, may often squint to try to see better, and may often tilt their head. Often, though, a lazy eye isn’t diagnosed until a child sees an eye doctor, which is one more reason why it is so important for children to see their eye doctor early. Lazy eyes may run in the family, and premature birth and a developmental disability are also risk factors.

What can be done for a lazy eye?

The doctor may recommend glasses or contacts, or if a cataract is causing the lazy eye, surgery may be recommended. Wearing an eye patch over the stronger eye (thus forcing the weaker eye to work harder) might also be an option – some children might have to wear an eye patch for a couple of hours a day while others might need to wear it all day. There are also eye drops that can be used in the stronger eye to blur vision so that the brain has to depend on the weaker eye. This is a good option for younger children who might not be able to wear an eye patch without trying to take it off.

If you notice any problems with your child’s vision, you should make an appointment at Marion Eye Center and Optical right away. Contact the office in Illinois (800-344-7058) or the office in Missouri (877-269-4545)!

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Category: Eye Care for Kids, Eye Condition

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