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What Are the Different Types of Amblyopia Treatment?

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  • Written By: Jami Yontz
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a condition where the brain does not register the images seen in one or both eyes because the neural pathways between the brain and the eye have not formed properly or the brain has begun to ignore the images. Most amblyopia treatment options require that the person’s brain is retrained to register what the eye is seeing. Other lazy eye treatments include corrective eye wear, eye patching, and muscle exercises. Surgery may sometimes be required to correct the condition. Parents should be aware of the symptoms of amblyopia in children because the condition is difficult to reverse once a person reaches 17 years of age.

Lazy eye can occur if the eye muscles are imbalanced, the eye is shaped abnormally, or the person’s vision is blurry in one eye as a result of a cloudy lens. A tumor or defect in the eye can also cause the condition to develop. The vision problem with one eye usually causes the images that are relayed to the brain to be unclear or confusing, so the brain begins to ignore any communication from the one eye. This causes the person to have have problems with depth perception and coordination, and it can cause the eye to wander inwards or outwards.

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Amblyopia treatment includes forcing the person to use the weak eye. Patching the person’s good eye will make the person use the weak eye and begin to create the neuropathways that were not initially developed. A physician will sometimes prescribe eye drops that cause the vision of the person’s good eye to become blurred. These eye drops contain atropine, which can have some side effects, so a physician or ophthalmologist should be consulted before beginning treatment.

Strabismus, a condition where the muscles of an eye cause the eyes to line up differently, is the most common cause of amblyopia. By exercising the muscles of the eyes, they begin to learn to work together. Focusing exercises, tracking, and rolling of the eyes are a part of this type of amblyopia treatment. Vision therapy combines these exercises with patching and computer activities to build the neuropathways and to reteach the brain to utilize the images produced by both eyes.

Surgery is another amblyopia treatment option, but it is usually reserved for severe cases that show no improvement with other less invasive methods. If the person’s lazy eye is caused by strabismus, the physician can cut the muscles of the eye and reposition it so that it is aligned with the stronger eye. This will also help with the cosmetic appearance of a lazy eye.

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