Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is a fairly common eye problem (affecting about 2 out of 100 children). It develops when a child has one eye that doesn’t see well or is injured, and they begin to use the other eye almost exclusively. In general, amblyopia must be detected as early as possible in order to treat and restore normal vision in the affected eye. If the problem persists for too long (past 7 to 10 years of age), vision is often lost permanently in the unused eye.
How is amblyopia treated?
There are a couple ways amblyopia may be treated, including:
Eye patching therapy
Once an ophthalmologist diagnoses the problems in the weaker eye, your child may need to wear a patch over the “good” eye for periods of time. This forces them to use and strengthen the eye that has become “lazy.”
Patching therapy will be continued for as long as necessary to bring the weaker eye up to its full potential and keep it there. This could take weeks, months or even a few years.
Eye drops or ointment
As an alternative to an eye patch, the ophthalmologist might prescribe eye drops or ointment to blur the vision in the good eye. This can stimulate your child to use the amblyopic eye.