Amblyopia: Do You Know How to Spot It?

By PasadenaEye
April 15, 2020

Several different eye conditions may be detected during a routine eye exam. Most are relatively benign, needing short treatment or correction with eyeglasses. Most are also relatively well-known. Amblyopia is not one of them. This common developmental disorder can be treated, but first we need to know how to spot it.

What is amblyopia?

Amblyopia may be diagnosed when both eyes are not operating at the same level. One eye is a little behind in its development of visual acuity. We might call that eye “lazy.” Usually, the signs of amblyopia are detected in early childhood. However, if a person has not received routine eye care during their youth, amblyopia may not be diagnosed until adulthood. At whatever time amblyopia is detected, it needs to be treated to prevent ongoing disruption to vision.

Three types of amblyopia may develop. These include:

  • Strabismic amblyopia, which occurs when the eyes do not properly align.
  • Refractive amblyopia is related to the way that light travels through the eye. In this condition, the eyes are aligned but one or both has a refractive error, meaning the light rays are bent abnormally at the front of the eye.
  • Deprivation amblyopia may occur in instances of congenital cataracts. Cataracts cloud the lens of the eye, obstructing light from entering the eye normally. When a child is born with cataracts, their vision may not develop normally in both eyes, resulting in one eye being lazy.

What are the symptoms of amblyopia?

Signs of amblyopia include:

  • One eye drifts to the side, either inward or outward
  • Complaints of blurry vision
  • Head tilting, an indication of trying to see clearly
  • Poor depth perception
  • Poor results from vision screening

Treating Amblyopia

There are several ways to approach amblyopia. An eye doctor will recommend treatment based on the type of amblyopia a patient has. Treatment options include:

  • Temporarily patching one eye to build the muscle tone in the lazy eye.
  • Corrective eyeglasses
  • Surgery may be conducted to strengthen weak eye muscles

Protecting Vision in Pasadena, TX

Our team has years of experience diagnosing and treating eye conditions. To schedule a comprehensive eye exam with us, call (713) 473-5715.

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