What Is Lazy Eye?
Amblyopia or lazy eye is a condition that happens when one eye has worse vision and is weaker than the other. Sometimes, when the difference in visual acuity between both eyes is drastic enough, the brain starts to prefer the better eye. If this happens, the weaker eye may begin to turn outward or inward. Usually, amblyopia is more common with babies and children; however, if detected early enough, there’s a higher chance of treating the condition and preventing it from becoming worse. If not treated at a younger age, amblyopia may become more difficult to correct and might affect the eye with normal vision.
Typically, this condition develops in childhood, but it can also first be diagnosed in older patients. At Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley in Encino and West Hills in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA, our skilled optometrists and ophthalmologists can diagnose and treat lazy eye in children and adults. If you or your child experiences amblyopia, we offer treatments that can potentially correct the issue. Schedule a consultation at one of our Los Angeles, CA offices to learn more about the treatments we offer.
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SIGNS OF AMBLYOPIA
The most common symptom of a lazy eye is an eye that wanders inward or outward while the other eye acts normally. Additional side effects of amblyopia, particularly for younger children and babies, include reduced depth perception and unusual visual acuity exam results. Though this condition is typically identified by the obvious symptoms, such as a wandering eye, noticeable signs may not always show up. In these cases, a lazy eye is only diagnosed through a routine eye exam. For younger children, we recommend scheduling an eye exam starting at six months old with a pediatric ophthalmologist.
What Causes Lazy Eye?
Certain ocular conditions that cause blurry, squinting, eye strain, or “crossed” eyes are conducive for lazy eye development. Similarly, amblyopia might be caused by a variety of other vision-related problems, including refractive errors, cataracts, and muscle imbalances. If you think that you or your child might have a lazy eye, it’s extremely important to pursue professional treatment as soon as possible. When diagnosed early, amblyopia is easily treated, but if you wait, it can make it more difficult or impossible to correct.
Based on your unique case, the level of your symptoms, and the underlying cause, we can offer a variety of helpful treatment options. If your lazy eye is due to a refractive issue, such as myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism, we may recommend wearing prescription glasses or an eye patch to help strengthen and restore the weaker eye. However, eye patching is generally ineffective over age 9. Patients could also receive prescription eye drops that make their sight blurry in the stronger eye so the less dominant eye has to work more. If amblyopia is caused by a muscular instability or cataracts, our expert eye doctors may suggest surgical treatment. Before developing the best customized treatment plan for you, we start by performing a series of state-of-the-art diagnostic tests and an eye exam. Once we have an overview of your condition and the underlying reason, our professional ophthalmologists and optometrists work together to help you accomplish better visual acuity and eye health.
Our board-certified ophthalmologists and optometrists will help you determine which treatment option works best for your unique case, depending on the underlying reason and the severity of your lazy eye. For patients who have refractive errors that cause the lazy eye, we may suggest both a combination of prescription glasses and an eye patch to force the less dominant eye to work harder. If the condition is caused by cataracts or a muscle imbalance, you may require surgery to help correct the issue. After properly diagnosing your condition, we will start to design your treatment plan and help you feel knowledgeable about your decisions. At Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley in San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA, our highly skilled team of doctors uses leading industry practices and technologies to offer patients the best advanced treatment choices.
STRONG VISION FOR BOTH EYES
If you think you or your child may have symptoms associated with amblyopia (lazy eye), please schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Encino or West Hills. Fortunately, a lazy eye is easily corrected when diagnosed and treated earlier on. However, if you delay treatment, it makes it more difficult to help the weaker eye become stronger. After we review what causes your lazy eye, our team will create a tailored treatment plan to enhance your vision and improve the strength in your weaker eye. Please call Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley in San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA to learn more about our treatment options.