Why You Have Lazy Eye And How You Can Treat It

Posted on: 30 March 2016

Your eyesight is an important part of your health, and taking care of it can help you to have a better quality of life. Although lazy eye begins in the first years of your life, as an adult, you may still be suffering from its effects. Here is some information about how lazy eye occurs and what types of treatments are available for you, at any age.

What Causes Lazy Eye

Lazy eye, or amblyopia, occurs when vision does not develop in one eye. There can be different causes for this vision developmental disorder.  Sometimes a cataract on your eye can cause amblyopia when light does not fully enter through your eye. The blockage causes an impairment of your vision in one eye, which results with your brain learning to ignore the images from that eye and only using the eye receiving good vision. 

Another cause of amblyopia can be from having a great deal of astigmatism or being very nearsighted in one eye, while the other eye has good vision. When your brain receives a blurry image and a clear image, it can learn to ignore the blurry image and not use that eye for vision. 

An ocular misalignment in one of your eyes can also cause lazy eye. In this condition of strabismus, the eye muscles cause one of your eyes turn inward or outward, preventing both eyes from focusing together. As this can cause double vision, your brain will eventually begin to ignore the image from the misaligned eye, resulting in deterioration of the bad eye's vision.

How to Treat Lazy Eye

Lazy eye can be treated in a few different ways. If there is an impairment or blockage in your eye that is preventing you from seeing a clear image in one eye, the blockages needs to be remedied before you can begin training your brain to use images from both eyes. 

If you have a cataract, you will need surgery to remove the cataract and restore vision to your eye. If there is a muscle disorder preventing both eyes from focusing together, surgery can also be performed to correct the muscles of your eyes. In other situations, you may simply need corrective lenses to help your eyes focus. 

Once the underlying problem has been fixed, you will need to retrain both your eyes to focus on an image together. There are several ways to do this.

Eye Patch Therapy

One of the first methods that has been used for over 200 years is to patch your good eye, forcing the bad eye to begin working again. Unfortunately, this process only works if you are under the age of 12 years old. With this process, you wear a patch over your bad eye from three to six hours per day. If your child is the one with lazy eye and won't leave the eye patch on their eye, or is having difficulty wearing it to school, you can use eye drops instead. These eye drops are placed in the child's good eye, to cause that eye to see blurry for several hours, forcing their good eye to begin to work.

Vision Therapy

If you are treating your amblyopia and you are of any age, you can use vision therapy treatment. Vision therapy is physical therapy exercises for your vision and the visual center in your brain to help correct your vision problems and improve your visual skills. This type of treatment is supervised by a doctor and customized to help train your eye to work again. 

During your vision therapy, your doctor may have you complete different exercises, including visual activities on the computer, visual activities using objects, standing on a balance board, or using specialized lenses to exercise your eyes.

For more information, contact a vision center like Absolute Vision Care.