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All About Amblyopia

lazy eye

Amblyopia Symptoms 

Note that some of the symptoms of amblyopia can be difficult to identify. A general clue that your child might have amblyopia is if he or she makes a fuss or seems uncomfortable when you cover or an object covers one eye.

Additional amblyopia symptoms may include:

  • Poor vision in one or both eyes
  • Poor depth perception
  • Squinting or needing to close one eye to see things clearly
  • An outward or inward-wandering eye
  • Persistent headaches

If your child (or you, yourself) is exhibiting any of these symptoms, please contact us for an examination, so we can diagnose your child’s vision problem and recommend an appropriate vision therapy treatment plan.

Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a visual disorder caused by abnormal vision development, often occurring during infancy. Patients with amblyopia have reduced vision in one eye, because it is not working properly in conjunction with the brain.

With early detection and proper treatment, loss of vision can be avoided for many children. However, when left untreated, amblyopia can cause significantly decreased visual acuity — including legal blindness.

What Causes Amblyopia?

When one eye sees clearly and the other does not, the brain tries to overcompensate for the one that does not see as well. Essentially, the brain begins to ignore images sent from the eye that does not see as well as its counterpart. The brain begins to favor the stronger eye over the other, and the eye that is not being used properly develops increasingly poor visual acuity, becoming the amblyopic eye.

Amblyopia can be caused by a variety of pre-existing conditions that prevents the amblyopic eye from focusing clearly.

Types of Amblyopia

Common types of amblyopia include the following:

Strabismic amblyopia is the most common type of amblyopia and is caused by poorly aligned eyes. If one eye is misaligned, the brain ignores visual input from that eye. This causes underuse in the eye with poorer visual acuity, leading to amblyopia in that eye, or lazy eye. 

Refractive amblyopia can occur despite perfect eye alignment. In this case, amblyopia is caused by unequal refractive errors in the eyes. For example, one eye may have uncorrected nearsightedness or farsightedness while the other eye does not. In these cases, the brain depends on the eye with the less severe uncorrected error to see, and ignores the images transmitted from the other eye. This causes amblyopia in the underused eye.

Deprivation amblyopia is amblyopia caused by something that obstructs light from entering a baby’s eye. A congenital cataract is frequently responsible for this form of amblyopia, and proper treatment is necessary to support continued visual development.

Treatment

Amblyopia is not correctable with glasses or contact lenses alone. However, vision therapy is often an appropriate treatment option.

Vision therapy involves an individualized treatment program that is designed to correct or improve visual deficiencies. Vision therapy includes different techniques and eye exercises (depending on the vision deficiency being treated), such as patching the stronger eye to force the brain to pay attention to signals transmitted from the amblyopic eye, eye alignment exercises and eye teaming activities, which help correct and enhance the brain’s ability to communicate with the eyes. It has been found to be far more successful in treating amblyopia than eye surgery or corrective glasses alone.

The earlier a child with amblyopia enters vision therapy, the better. Research has long since disproven the popular belief that older children or even adults with amblyopia cannot be helped; however, it is best to begin treating amblyopia as soon as possible.

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I highly recommend this business for their specialty services, care, professionalism and promptness. If you have any learning problems, dyslexia or anything of the sort, try Dr. Jong and her team to check your eyes. My niece was falling a lot but had 20/20 vision; Dr. Jong and her team figured out her problem and she no longer falls. My daughter was having problems with math. Dr. Jong and her team figured out why and her math scores went up. I had problems reading Latin and it's due to a form of dyslexia. Specialty glasses help fix that problem as well. Dr. Jong has a lot to offer the community and I highly recommend her. This is my first online review ever!!

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Dr. Jong and her skilled, experienced staff always give friendly and personal attention to this patient. My eyes have been in her care since 1985 and its has been very good care. I believe the Center has all the latest examination and diagnostic equipment. My annual visit with Dr. Jong and her staff is a great confidence builder. 

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The most caring people you will ever meet. It is an awesome feeling to have someone who understands what your child is struggling with and actually has a solution to your problem. I recommend anyone that has a child with a learning disorder to schedule an evaluation. You will be amazed!

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It's been years since my last exam. Dr. Jong was friendly, informative and thorough throughout the exam. The staff at Advanced Eye Center were polite and caring. There was no waiting time and I was out of the office with a new prescription within 30 minutes of arriving.

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