What is Lazy Eye?
A lazy eye (amblyopia) is actually a lazy brain problem, the eye is fine, but this problem of the eye leads to poor vision.
Lazy eye is fairly common affecting 1-4% of children, according to the Hindu.
It usually happens in just one eye but less commonly in both eyes, which really affects a person’s quality of routine.
An Indian study showed a higher incidence in rural schools (0.7%) than in urban schools (0.5%).
This is probably because of a lack of awareness of regular eye check-ups and the use of spectacles among the rural population.
It is most typically seen in children, (the most common cause of vision loss in kids) but is also seen in young adults.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of amblyopia are hard to notice because kids with lazy eyes have trouble telling what near or far something is.
Signs and symptoms of lazy eyes include:
- poor stereo vision
- low sensitivity to contrast and motion
- poor vision
- eyes appear not to work together
- double vision
- squinting (where one eye points in a different direction)
Reports tell that amblyopia starts at the age of 5, and 1 to 5% of the adult population is affected by this disorder (2)
Reasons for Lazy eye
All babies are born with some kind of refractive error which is usually longsightedness with astigmatism.
As the babies grow and the eyeballs grow they start to normalize between the ages of 5-7 years.
If the baby does not develop it’s refractive fully it may lead to a lazy eye.
The most common cause of lazy eye is refractive errors commonly known as short-sightedness or long-sightedness or astigmatism.
It is a disorder where both eyes do not line up in the same direction it is also known as crossed eyes.
Strabismus happens due to many reasons such as:
- Head injury
- nervous system issues
- graves disease
A cataract is an eye disorder, where the black portion of your eye covers with a white cloud that leads to a decrease in vision.
Cataract often starts slowly where blurry vision is its first sign, and that can affect one or both of your eyes.
- A person may experience blurry, cloudy, and dim vision
- difficulty seeing at night
- sensitive to light such as sunlight, direct car headlamp, etc
- see differnt color in objest
A person may experience other reasons for lazy eye including:
- Different vision problem
- ametropia and anisometropia were the most common causes of lazy eye (3).
- vitamin A deficiency
- eye surgery
- the dropping one of your eyes
- cornea issue (infection is the major reason it, red, pus, and watery are its common symptoms)
Normally, it is also connected with the brain, nerve signals are connected to both eyes if an eye condition makes vision issues.
The brain trying to fix it, where it starts to turn off signals from the weaker eye and normally works with the stronger eye.
Over time, the brain can’t recognize the sight of 1 eye, where the brain relies more on one stronger eye, while the other weaker eye gets worse.
What About – Squint?
A squint is also known as strabismus, where the eyes point in different directions, this occurs at a younger age due to glass power.
Studies found the eye patch together with glasses if necessary, improves the vision of children, squint also occurs in adults.
How lazy eye is different from a squint?
In the lazy eye, where eyesight doesn’t develop, as it should, which can cause a person cannot to see images clearly.
In squint, where one or both eyes do not look in the same place, which can point up, down, right, or left.
How doctor diagnose It?
The doctor checks the eye examination by identifying vision accuracy in both eyes among other eye instruments.
However, at a young age, identifying vision accuracy is difficult to measure, because children don’t tell doctors something wrong with their eyes.
Here doctors cover one eye and measure the other eye’s visibility to see objects.
Instrument-based vision screening – It basically estimated a child’s refractive error.
But this screening machine does not diagnose amblyopia but it can pick up risk factors for amblyopia.
Which Child Is More Risk Of Lazy Eye?
Some kids are born with amblyopia and other eye disorder later in childhood, which increases the chance of amblyopia in kids who:
- were born prematurely
- were genetically
- smaller birth during child
Normally there was a concept that lazy eye is treatable only till 7 or 12 years of age. because at this age brain and eyes are still in the developing stage.
The most important thing if you are treating it after 7 years of age is aggressive treatment (4).
However, there are various studies has been proven that lazy eye is treatable till a minimum of 17 years of age (5)
The doctor may treat the lazy eye by giving:
Appropriate spectacles, which are refractive correction, and closing one of the eyes, which is called occlusion therapy.
In the younger age group, this occlusion therapy can be given as a part-time treatment also (6).
If the person is more than 7 years of age or 12 years of age, then the doctor recommends is full-time occlusion therapy.
In surgery, the doctor moves affected eye muscles to just adjust the position of the eye.
However, the surgery is done after the lazy eye treatment, surgery is not the answer to the lazy eye itself.
The doctor may recommend training that re-trains the brain and force it to use the weaker eye by:
Wearing an eye patch on the stronger eye: Covering the stronger eye with a stick eye patch on them – the concept is that – the more brain uses the weaker eye, the stronger it gets.
Research evidence shows that amblyopia from eye patches and eye drops can improve vision in children.
Eye patching is usually done on a part-time schedule of about 4–6 hours a day.
Eye drops: Basically, eye drops are used for making the good eye not see properly, which makes the weaker eye take over and work harder.
Drops contain atropine (which basically numbs the muscles in the strong eye, making the eye hard to see).
Eye drops may be seen as easier to use, because children may try to pull eye-patch.
Glasses: Glasses can correct existing refractive errors include – short-sightedness or long-sightedness, and blurry vision (7)
If the cataract is diagnosed as blurry vision, then the doctor may recommend other treatments including – surgery.
Glasses may be all the treatment needed for some children (8)
Drawback of Treatment
However, some people are worried about covering or making the healthiest eye weak, which is fair.
On the other hand, eye patches may irritate children and even adults, where temporary sensitivity to light may irritating.
Eye drop makes the healthy eye weak, which is a more concerning matter for all ages.
Can Really Eye Training or Exercise Improve Eye Vision?
Some studies have shown that eye exercise among other treatments can improve eye vision exercises include:
- doing their daily work with only one eye
- making things
- other eyes exercises
However, other studies have shown no improvement in children’s eyesight, and still, more research is needed on it.
A lazy eye is actually a lazy brain problem, that commonly affects children, and leads the low eye vision.
Studies have shown that approx 1-4% of children are affected by it, and leads to poor vision or blindness as a result of lazy eyes in adults.
There are several treatments includes – eye patches together with eye drops, and eye exercises which over time improve lazy eyes.