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What Are the Different Types of Exercises for Lazy Eye?

By Angela Farrer
Updated May 17, 2024
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The different types of exercises for lazy eye include muscle movement exercises designed to strengthen a weak eye, patching exercises, and certain drawing exercises designed to improve the affected eye's coordination with the hand and brain. A medical term for a lazy eye is ambloyopia, and this condition is characterized by the tendency of one eye to drift outwards in focus. Exercises for lazy eye are among the most common ambloyopia treatments. When people diagnosed with this eye condition perform recommended eye exercises on a regular basis, the lazy eye is often able to correct itself without the need for more invasive treatments such as surgery.

Ambloyopia is usually recognized in young children by the time they reach school age. Underdeveloped eye muscles are usually responsible for the lazy eye failing to work in tandem with the stronger eye. If left untreated, it can lead to further complications such as double or blurred vision and failure to develop good eye-hand coordination. Prescribed exercises for lazy eye sometimes differ for children than for adults who were not diagnosed when they were younger. Ophthalmologists frequently recommend intervention as early as possible for the best chances of completely recovering from this eye problem.

Children diagnosed with ambloyopia are often assigned exercises for lazy eye that include wearing an eye patch over the stronger eye in order to force the weaker one to focus on daily tasks. Consistent use of an eye patch over time can strengthen the connections between the brain and the weak eye. Depending on the severity of the condition, these young ambloyopia sufferers may need to wear an eye patch for several hours every day in order to see eventual results. Eye doctors sometimes give these patients additional exercises that involve drawing certain lines and shapes while wearing their patches.

Some lazy eye patients find that wearing a patch is uncomfortable and limiting to their normal vision. Alternative exercises for lazy eye are sometimes viable treatments in this case. A basic technique entails laying down on the side with the stronger eye so that the weak eye is more readily able to focus inwards towards the bridge of the nose. Laying down allows gravity to work to the weak eye's advantage and temporarily obscures the stronger eye's field of vision. The lazy eye patient then moves the weak eye up and down along the line of the nose, which provides a focus point for keeping the lazy eye tightly pulled inwards.

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