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Home » What's New » All You Need to Know About Amblyopia (Lazy Eye). Treatment in Olathe, KS

All You Need to Know About Amblyopia (Lazy Eye). Treatment in Olathe, KS


We all know why we need to wear sunglasses and sunscreen in the summer. Winter, however, can be deceiving. It's an illusion to assume that we are safe from sunburns during the colder season.

Snow acts as a powerful mirror for sunlight and magnifies the effects of UV rays which would otherwise be absorbed by the ground. As a result, the eyes are exposed to both the UV radiation bouncing back from the snowy carpet and the rays shining down directly from the sun.

If your family is skiing or snowboarding up in the mountains, you need to be even more careful! UV rays are more powerful at higher altitudes. Another important factor to remember is that ultraviolet radiation penetrates through clouds, so even if the sun is hidden behind them, it can still damage your eyes.

Prevent overexposure to sunlight by wearing sunglasses that absorb at least 95% of ultraviolet radiation when you go outside, no matter what time of year it is. Even though you want to look great in your shades, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Make sure the lenses are 100% UV blocking by looking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. The good news is you don't necessarily have to pay more for full coverage for your eyes. Dozens of reasonably priced options exist that still provide total ultraviolet protection.

Another important factor in selecting sun wear is the size of the lenses. You want to make sure your glasses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to penetrate. Lenses that wrap around the temples will also prevent UV waves from entering from the sides.

If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, you should be aware that the sun's rays are stronger at higher elevations, so you need to be especially careful to keep your eyes shaded on the slopes. In addition to sunglasses, it's a good idea to put on a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.

Make a point to be knowledgeable about proper eye protection throughout the year. Don't forget to wear your sunglasses.

Amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye is the deficiency in central vision development caused by the failure of both eyes to work in unison. With most cases of lazy eye the eyes themselves are typically in good health however the condition cannot be corrected by just the use of prescription lenses. When untreated lazy eye can result in serious visual impairment, even loss of sight in that eye.

Lazy eye is the most common cause of sight impairment in childhood. Usually beginning in the developmental stages of infancy, the disorder is often difficult to discern. The earlier a diagnosis is made and treatment starts the greater the possibility of complete vision restoration. Those that don’t start to be treated until they are teenagers or adults frequently find that it can take much longer and is less effective.

This is why it is crucial to have your child’s eyes tested at a young age. The American Optometric Association recommends that children receive a comprehensive optometric examination by the age of half a year and again by age three.

Causes of Amblyopia

Lazy eye can be caused by any condition that affects typical eye and vision development. One common cause is strabismus, an imbalance in the location of the eyes. Such misalignment results in eyes that cross in (estropia) or turn out (exotropia) and therefore aren’t able to work together. Sometimes amblyopia is caused when the eyes have different levels of acuity. This is the result of a condition called anisometropia. Occasionally, amblyopia is caused by other optical conditions such as a cataract or another pathological impairment.

Treating Lazy Eye

Lazy eye is treated by efforts to achieve normal visual acuity to both eyes. In addition to wearing prescription lenses, the most common way to do this involves forcing the child to use the eye with the reduced vision. A few treatment options exist to do this and the treatment is chosen according to the individual situation and the decision of the eye doctor.

Frequently you will see patching, where a patch is used to occlude the good eye. A patch compels the patient to use the weaker eye, which stimulates proper sight in the weak eye and helps the visual system in the brain develop properly. However this treatment greatly depends on cooperation with wearing the patch, which can be a problem especially with children.

Some eye care professionals decide to use atropine. When applied to the better eye, atropine drops temporarily obscure the vision to force the use of the weaker eye.

Alternatives to these treatments include vision therapy to train the eyes to work together as a team and in some cases a surgical procedure to straighten out the alignment of the eyes. Special contact lenses or other sight aides are also sometimes employed.

Since amblyopia involves a disruption in the proper development of the visual system, younger patients often show more success with treatment. Still, there have been many instances where older patients received successful treatment and therefore anyone who suspects they or their child has amblyopia should consult immediately with their optometrist If you are in need of amblyopia consultation in Olathe, KS, contact us to schedule an appointment. Amblyopia doesn’t heal itself so don’t delay in starting to repair your vision!