Published on 14 June 2010
Amblyopia is poor vision in an eye that fails to develop normal sight during early childhood. After four years old, the development of the part of the brain that processes vision is almost complete. If the brain has not received clear images from the weak eye, it would be difficult to improve the vision in this eye after the brain is completely developed. The result ? lazy eye or amblyopia.
Take your child to your family doctor if you notice that something is not quite right with his eyes ? whether he appears to be short-sighted or long-sighted, tilts his head to look at something or his eyes don?t seem to move together in the same direction etc. If need be, your doctor will refer your child to an eye specialist. If the lazy eye is detected early, treatment time will be shorter and more likely to be successful. Otherwise, your child will have poor vision in the lazy eye.
To correct amblyopia, the child will be made to use the lazy eye. This is usually done by patching or covering the good eye. If the child also requires spectacles, he must wear it all the time.
The objective of patching is to allow the lazy eye to be used more often than the other eye so that it gets a chance to develop normal vision. Treatment may take weeks to years. The earlier the treatment is started, the faster the recovery and the greater the success. It is important that the child be reviewed regularly. The recovery of vision is better if patching is commenced at a very early age, preferably before four years old.