December 8, 2015

Amblyopia

Amblyopia is a neuro-developmental disorder of binocular vision commonly known as a “lazy eye” and is defined as reduced vision in one eye compared to the other. There are forms of amblyopia that involve both eyes, though this is less common. Amblyopia is an active process due to suppression, or the brain actively ignoring the information coming from one eye. In addition to poor visual acuity, people with amblyopia are more prone to have difficulties with depth perception, eye movements related to reading, and visual decision making in driving. According to the National Institute of Health, amblyopia is the most common cause of visual impairment among children.

Amblyopia is treatable at any age. Recent research has shown that a binocular approach to treating amblyopia may be an effective alternative to the previously used approach of patching. Less reliance on patching can help avoid unnecessary emotional stress on a child or the family.

Symptoms include:

  • Reduced eye sight in one eye
  • Lack of depth perception
  • Delays in visual information processing
  • Delays in visual-motor coordination

Treatment may include:

  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses (proper lenses can help reduce stress so that the under-used eye can start to work more efficiently)
  • Binocular vision development with 3D videos and gaming
  • Perceptual learning and visual processing development
  • Development of the accommodative (focusing) system
  • Eye hand coordination training