The Lazy Eye Explained

There are many strange stories surrounding the lazy eye condition or to use the medical term amblyopia, but how do we know if our children are suffering from the problem and what causes it?

Amblyopia Explained

Amblyopia is very much a childhood condition which affects sight in one eye as the development is stuttered in comparison to the other working eye. This can lead to someone relying heavily on the sight in the other eye, leading to an eye which does not function or appear as it should.

The syndrome is not exactly rare, but not as common as many eye disorders, with around 1 in 50 children likely to develop the problem, with diagnosis and onset most prevalent when the child reaches the age of four.

Myths About Lazy Eye

Some bizarre theories surrounding lazy eye have surfaced recently, including Australian optometrist Andrew Hogan’s claim that the condition can even arise through certain popular trends, including the ‘emo-fringe’ look fashioned adopted by many a teenager across the world, which was said to help cause the syndrome by the heavy fringe on one side blocking natural movement of the eye for an extended period and letting in less light than was safe.

This was largely refuted by doctors in the States who claim that people are most vulnerable from the condition only up until the age of around seven, with only the constant deprivation of sight in the eye thought to form a platform to develop the disease.

What Actually Causes Lazy Eye and How is it Treated?

Like many eye conditions, the ability for the retina to interpret light and translate the image to the brain to process a 3D image is altered or distorted by excessive squinting or short-sightedness, leading to a poor quality of image in one eye which appears blurred and out of focus, with the child then prioritising use of the ‘working’ eye.

The brain actually subconsciously realises the inferior use of the affected eye and essentially disregards it for much vision interpretation, which can worryingly lead to a permanent loss of vision if left untreated for a number of years.

Glasses are often the first port of call to correct any blurred sight or amblyopic symptoms, which corrects many underlying problems of inferior sight, while encouraged use of the affected eye to train the brain to use it again will likely see significant improvement in overall visual quality for later life.

Interested in all things health, Jamie blogs for Direct Sight – leaders in glasses direct to you.

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