The Lazy Eye
Do you suspect that your child might have a squint?
It may be a lazy eye.
What is a “Lazy eye”?
A “lazy eye” or amblyopia occurs when the sight of one or both eyes is underdeveloped causing reduced vision.
What causes amblyopia?
A squint is the most common reason for one eye to be amblyopic but it can also occur when one eye is more long or short sighted than the other. It can also occur if there is an eye abnormality which blocks light from entering the eye such as a cataract.
How do we treat amblyopia?
Amblyopia can be treated in various ways. The commonest form is glasses and/or patching. Glasses help by letting the eye focus properly but patching may also be needed.
How does patching help my child’s sight?
The sight will improve if the child uses the eye more since it is the lack of proper use that has caused it to be lazy. By covering the good eye we force the lazy eye to work harder. If the child needs glasses then these should be used at the same time as patching.
What should my child do when wearing the patch?
Reading, drawing or playing with small toys are the best activities to encourage the eye to work harder. Your child may like to watch TV with the patch on but may need to sit closer to see properly. If your child’s sight is very poor it is best to play with bigger and brighter things so that they can be seen more easily.
How much patching will my child need?
This varies from child to child and depends on their age and how long the eye has been lazy.
Does patching really work?
Patching will only work if your child wears the patch as instructed. If started at and early age, patching is usually successful. Patching will only help your child’s vision and will not improve the squint. Squints are treated with glasses and/or surgery.
Will the “lazy eye” get better on its own?
No. If left untreated the child may have permanently damaged sight which cannot be corrected when older.
Is there any treatment other than patching?
In some times Atropine eye drops can be used to blur the vision of the better eye, to encourage the use of the lazy eye. There are no operations to cure a lazy eye. Simply using the eye makes the sight improve.
How can I find out more about patching?
Ask our eye care professionals and they will be able to answer any questions you may have.
(For further information, call us on 21491200 or message us on Facebook)