Amblyopia Treatment in Traverse City, MI

Amblyopia is a developmental eye disorder that is often also referred to as lazy eye. With this disorder, one eye will be unable to properly communicate with the nerve pathways leading to the brain. This causes the eye to not coordinate with the other eye.

Unfortunately, the weaker eye tends to get worse over time because the brain relies heavily on the good eye for seeing purposes.

This disorder typically shows itself during an individual’s early childhood or even infant years. Most of the time, only one eye is affected by amblyopia but it is possible for both eyes to be affected.

Common Symptoms of Amblyopia

It can be challenging to diagnose amblyopia because the symptoms are not always obvious as it begins to occur.

One very common symptom is poor depth perception. If your child struggles to determine how near or far away items are, this could be a sign that they are developing amblyopia.

Some of the other noticeable signs that your child could be developing amblyopia are as follows:

  • Head tilting for visual purposes
  • Often shutting one eye to focus
  • Routine squinting
  • Depth perception

Amblyopia is diagnosed through an eye doctor. If you feel as though your child may have amblyopia, we recommend vision screenings. A regular eye exam can help to determine whether this is the problem. Starting eye exams between ages 3-5 is the recommendation.

Causes of Amblyopia

At times, it is impossible for doctors to determine specifically what causes amblyopia. However, there are cases when the root cause is tied to another issue and treating the cause can help to correct amblyopia.

Here are some of the common causes that may be able to be treated:

  • Cataract
  • Strabismus
  • Refractive errors, including nearsightedness and farsightedness

Recommended Treatment Options for Amblyopia

Treatment options may vary based on what the eye doctor deems to be causing amblyopia. There could be multiple factors that are affecting the eye and these items can sometimes be treated with glasses, contacts, or even surgery depending on the situation.

Glasses and contacts may be able to help in cases where nearsightedness and farsightedness seem to be the primary effects. In some cases, amblyopia can be caused by cataracts as well, this is often able to be corrected with cataract surgery.

There are two other primary treatment options, which are listed below.

  • Eye Patch – You can have your child wear an eye patch for a certain number of hours per day. There are small stick-on eye patches that can be placed much like a Band-Aid. The eye patch is placed over the strong eye, which forces the brain to use the weak eye.
  • Eye Drops – there are specialty eye drops that contain atropine which can be used much like the eye patch. These drops cause a temporary blurring of vision to the strong eye, forcing the brain to use the weak eye.

Depending on the treatment, results could take quite some time to see. While it’s possible that you will see a noticeable change within a few weeks, it can often take months or even years of treatment to see great results. It’s relatively unknown and everyone responds differently to treatments.

Ultimately, the sooner you are able to determine whether your child has amblyopia and start working on treating it, the more likely you are to see positive results.

Contact Northern Vision Eye Care in Traverse City, MI

If you are looking for a skilled center that can review treatment options with you for amblyopia, we are here to help. Give us a call at Northern Vision Eye Care today to schedule an appointment and see what we can do for you!

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