Archive for the ‘lazy eye’ Category

What is Amblyopia?

Friday, December 15th, 2017

In a normal functioning eye, the brain and the eye work in coordination with each other. The retina, along the back wall of the eye, works to send nerve signals to the optic nerve, which in turn communicates with the brain to translate what the eye is seeing. When one eye does not work correctly with the other, it is called Amblyopia, or sometimes Lazy Eye. This is a fairly common condition in children, occurring in 2 to 3 out of every 100 children.

 

What are the Causes of Amblyopia?

 

According to the National Eye Institute, “A common cause of amblyopia is the inability of one eye to focus as well as the other one. Amblyopia can occur when one eye is more nearsighted, more farsighted, or has more astigmatism. These terms refer to the ability of the eye to focus light on the retina.”

 

Are there any Treatment Options for Amblyopia?

 

For many children, treatment consists of physically patching or through medical intervention in the form of a drug called Atropine. Patching an eye helps train the weaker eye to work with the brain and allows vision to develop more completely. The results from a nationwide clinical trial3 showed that many children from ages 7 to 17 years old benefited from this form of treatment for amblyopia. Another form of treatment includes Atropine eye drops. This form of treatment can produce similar improvements. The drug temporarily blurs the child’s vision so that the he/she will use the eye with amblyopia, thus improving vision.

 

For more information on amblyopia contact Boston Eye Physicians and Surgeon at at 671-232-9600 or visit our website.

 

Infant Eye Issues

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

As new parents you have a constant cycle going: cry, feed, change, burp, comfort, and the cycle goes on for what may seem like a sleep-deprived level of infinity. There are so many things to do and worry about. Worrying about your child’s eyesight should be on your radar but not cause you more sleepless nights.  Here are a few things to be aware of when it comes to your infant and his/her vision.

There are a number of common childhood diseases and disorders to be on the look out for in the early months that you should bring to the attention of your pediatrician.

  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)- This very contagious eye disease is notorious for causing red, itchy, crusty eyes in infants and young children. Usually the pediatrician can prescribe ointment or drops to clear up a bacterial infection. If it is viral in nature, waiting it out is usually the best course of action. Warm compresses can also alleviate the pain.
  • Clogged tear ducts – It’s common for newborn tear ducts to clog and for tears to overflow onto a baby’s cheeks, or crusty build up to occur in the corners of the eyes.  Again, a warm cloth compress can help but if the pus drainage and crusting last throughout the day, call your doctor.
  • Crossed eyes – Many babies cross their eyes because the muscles that control them are still weak. However, if your child is 4 months old or older and frequently cross-eyed, or if it occurs at the same time each day or during the same activity, an eye exam is warranted.
  • Sty A sty looks like a red, sore lump near the edge of the eyelid; it is caused by an infected eyelash follicle. Talk to your doctor about treatment methods and relief of pain for your infant.
  • Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) – Amblyopia is a term used to mean poor vision in an eye that has not developed normal sight (usually during early childhood). It occurs when visual acuity is much better in one eye than the other. Amblyopia is common and affects two or three of every 100 people in the U.S. Amblyopia can be a result of strabismus (misaligned eyes). Again, discuss your observations with your doctor. They may recommend an eye appointment for further evaluation.

Lazy Eye

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Most new parents spend countless hours looking into the eyes of their newborn or toddler enjoying the delight or wonder they see in them.  Sometimes, however parents notice something other than delight.   They may notice a wandering of one eye, or eyes that don’t appear to work together.  If this is noticed beyond the first few weeks of life, a check by your Primary Care physician may be in order.  He or she may refer your child to a specialist in eye conditions (ophthalmologist or optometrist). Lazy eye is one possibility for this “wandering” especially if the baby was premature, had low birth weight or it runs in your family. Let’s look at the causes and potential treatments for children diagnosed with Lazy Eye.

Causes – There are three common causes of Lazy Eye.

  • Strabismic – this very common cause of lazy eye is caused by an imbalance in the muscles responsible for positioning the eyes.
  • Deprivation – this occurs if there is a problem with one eye, such as a cloudy area in the lens (cataract). This “deprives” the child of clear vision in the eye.
  • Refractive – This is the result of a significant different in the vision in each eye.  This might be caused by nearsightedness, farsightedness or an imperfection on the surface of the eye (astigmatism).

Treatments – Ideally, lazy eye will be diagnosed in childhood to increase the success of treatment.

  • If the condition is caused by significant differences in sight such as near or farsightedness in the two eyes then corrective lenses may be in order.
  • For children with one weak eye a patch over the stronger eye may help build up the vision in the weaker one.  This is especially helpful in children over 4.
  • Eye drops to blur the vision of the stronger eye to help strengthen the weaker one are also available.  A daily or twice-weekly drop of a drug called atropine can temporarily blur vision in the stronger eye. This will encourage your child to use his or her weaker eye, and offers an alternative to wearing a patch.
  • Surgery may be needed to repair eye muscles if your child has crossing or wandering eyes.  Your child may also need surgery if he or she has droopy eyelids or cataracts.