What is Lazy eye?
Any guesses? No! It’s not sleepy eyes!
Lazy eyes, also known as Amblyopia, is an early childhood condition in which a child’s eyesight does not develop as it should in one eye. Without treatment, your brain will learn to ignore the image that comes from the weaker eye. That can cause permanent vision problems.
Amblyopia generally develops from birth up to age 7 years. It is the leading cause of decreased vision among children. Rarely, lazy eye affects both eyes. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent long-term problems with your child’s vision. The eye with poorer vision can usually be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, or patching therapy.
Doctors don’t always know what’s behind in some cases of amblyopia. Causes may include:
1. Refractive errors – One eye might have much better focus than the other. The other eye could be nearsighted or farsighted. Or it could have astigmatism (distorted or blurry vision). When your brain gets both a blurry image and a clear one, it starts to ignore the blurry one.
2. Strabismus -This is when your eyes don’t line up the way they should.
People who have strabismus can’t focus their eyes together on an image, so they often see double. Your brain will ignore the image from the eye that isn’t aligned.
3. Contingent Cataract-A cloudy lens inside your eye can make things look blurry. The vision in that eye might not develop the way it should.
But the biggest question is what are the risk factors that leads to lazy eye in a child. There are no specific risk but following are the reasons that may lead to lazy eye:
- Premature Birth
- Have a family history of amblyopia or other eye conditions
- Have developmental disabilities
So, when to consult a doctor?
See your child’s doctor if you notice his or her eye wandering after the first few weeks of life. A vision check is especially important if there’s a family history of crossed eyes, childhood cataracts or other eye conditions.
For all children, a complete eye examination is recommended between ages 3 and 5.