What is lazy eye?
eye is diagnosed when the sight is still poor after any refractive
error has been corrected with spectacles and there is no other problem
in the eye.
brain needs stimulation of sharp pictures from the eyes to develop
fully during childhood. Anything that causes blurred images in the eye
will result in the respective part of the brain used for seeing to
remain undeveloped. This eye will not see well because to see clearly,
one needs an eye that can form sharp pictures as well as a developed
portion of the brain that is able to read these pictures. Even if the
eye’s condition is fully corrected later in life, vision will not
recover because the brain only develops in early childhood.
What conditions cause lazy eye?
The most common causes are:
- High degrees of near-sightedness, astigmatism and far-sightedness
- Large differences in degrees between both eyes
- Cataracts and droopy eyelids are rare causes
Does my child have a lazy eye?
eye is usually unnoticed by parents if only one eye is affected as the
child will appear to have good eyesight. The only way to detect lazy eye
early is to have a sight test as early as possible.
Why is early treatment important?
eye can only be successfully treated in younger children. In lazy eye, a
part of the brain is underdeveloped. This can be reversed with
treatment, but as the child ages, the brain gradually loses its ability
to grow and respond to treatment. Therefore lazy eye should be detected
and treated as early as possible. All young children should undergo
regular eye tests.
Treatment of lazy eye
condition that caused the lazy eye must be treated. This means
spectacles for refractive errors, and surgery for cataracts, drooping
eyelids and squints. The lazy eye itself is most effectively treated by
occlusion therapy (patching of the good eye). This forces the child to
use the weak eye. The patch can be held on the eye using a disposable
adhesive patch or with an elastic band. Alternatively, the spectacles
can be covered with opaque tape or made with frosted plastic. The more
complete the blockage of light from the eye, the more effective the
can be enforced full-time during all waking hours in more severe cases
of lazy eye or only part of the time so that the child does not have to
wear the patch to school in milder cases. Patching can cause lazy eye in
the good eye but this is almost always reversible. Because of this
possibility, patching should always be done under the supervision of an
eye specialist. Patching may be needed from a few months to several
years as the lazy eye may return if patching is stopped. Patching is
usually not effective after the age of 10.
main difficulty with patching is that no child likes to have his good
eye patched. Parents must closely supervise and enforce the continuous
wearing of patches and spectacles and use all means to persuade the
child to cooperate.
eye is a common condition developing in childhood that often goes
unrecognised. Early detection is important as it can only be treated in
early childhood. All children should have regular eye tests from birth
to detect lazy eye. Treatment is effective but depends on the parent’s
ability to ensure that the spectacles and patches are worn constantly.
The patch is always worn on the good eye.