Amblyopia Care in Albuquerque
Many children have a condition known as amblyopia. While disconcerting for parents, it is common, affecting about 3% of children. The good news for parents is that at Albuquerque Vision Care and Advanced Eyewear, we have eye doctors who can successfully treat it in many cases.
What Is Amblyopia?
Amblyopia or lazy eye is a condition when one of the eyes does not see as clearly as the other. The weaker eye may appear to drift slightly away from the direction the stronger eye looks in. This visible form of the condition does not happen in all children, though. In fact, most children have a form of lazy eye that requires an eye doctor's diagnosis.
Signs of Lazy Eye in Children
Most children cannot tell their parents that one eye does not see as clearly as the other. First, the child has never seen clearly through both eyes and does not know the difference. Secondly, the brain compensates for the weaker eye to make the condition difficult for the child to notice.
If you notice any of the following signs of lazy eye in your toddler, get him or her to a pediatric optometrist for an exam:
- Cloudiness in one eye
- Closing one eye
- Eyes pointing in different directions
- Tilting the head to look at something
Even if you think that your child does not have a vision problem, schedule an optometrist visit before his or her fifth birthday. You need to know the condition of your child's vision the same as you would any other aspect of his or her health. Pediatric optometrists can conduct special tests for children who cannot read to test their eyesight and visual acuity before they start school.
Causes of Amblyopia in Children
Several things can cause lazy eye, none of which are the fault of the child or parents. Common causes typically occur from birth and may include the following:
- Eyes that do not point in the same direction (strabismus)
- Cataracts or clouding over one eye
- Worse vision in one eye than the other
- Eyelid drooping
Any child can have a lazy eye, but some children have a higher risk. These kids include those who were born premature, have developmental disabilities, have a family history of the condition, or had a small birth weight.
Lazy Eye Treatment
Unlike some eye conditions, optometrists typically do not correct the cause. Instead, lazy eye treatment involves making the weaker eye stronger. Depending on the child's visual acuity, this may include:
- Using eye drops in the stronger eye, which makes that eye's vision blurrier
- Covering the stronger eye with an eye patch
- Prescribing glasses with different strengths of corrective lenses
Your child's eye doctor knows best, so follow their advice for lazy eye treatment. By following the optometrist's recommendations, most children will have their lazy eye corrected within a few months.
Connect With Us in Albuquerque for Pediatric Eye Care and More
Make sure that your child's vision develops normally and that they get treatment for any conditions they may have early. If you suspect that your child has amblyopia or you just want a pediatric vision checkup, phone Albuquerque Vision Care and Advanced Eyewear in Albuquerque at (505) 332-2020. We're happy to answer any of your questions and help you with an appointment.