Amblyopia, more commonly known as 'lazy eye,' is an affliction that affects many people across the United States. 3% of young children under 6 are afflicted with this condition, caused by a nerve disconnection in the brain that keeps it from 'connecting' with one of the eyes. Having a lazy eye can cause issues with being able to see clearly or recognize depth perception in both eyes, and can be a worrisome ailment for you as a parent to watch your child suffer through. There are treatments to help strengthen the muscle movements of a lazy eye and help it work in better connection with the healthier eye. Here are vision therapy treatments you can try for your child's condition.
For very young children who have been diagnosed early, an eye patch over the healthy eye to promote dominant movement in the lazy eye is often recommended. Your child's eye doctor may prescribe an eye patch for your child to be worn for 6 or more hours a day. For milder lazy eye conditions, a patch can show improvement in the weaker eye by forcing it to focus because it temporarily does not have the healthier eye to rely on for positive vision. An eye patch may also stimulate the brain to recognize the weaker eye and send nerve signals to it in order to help your child see better.
If your child will not wear an eye patch or you worry about them being made fun of at school while they undergo treatment, you can talk to your child's eye doctor about prescription eye drops instead. Eye drops for lazy eye are designed to blur the vision in the dominant eye, providing the same effects as an eye patch does without the noticeable accessory.
Exercises that challenge the muscles and focusing efforts of your child's weaker eye can also be beneficial in helping to improve their condition. Eye exercises include:
- covering the dominant eye and focusing on alternating objects
- looking to the right for a few seconds and holding, then to the left
- palming the hands over the eyes then removing them to encourage focus
Your eye doctor can help show you and your child how to perform these eye exercises that are designed to improve muscle and focus activity in the lazy eye.
Your child's lazy eye can be a frightening condition that you may fear cannot be corrected. Vision therapy, when done correctly and started as early as possible, can help correct your child's ailment and give them better-quality vision. For more information about vision therapy, contact a business such as Absolute Vision Care.