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If you or someone in your family suffers from amblyopia, better known to the general public as lazy eye, you should know that this a treatable condition that is well worth treating. The dominance of one eye over another due to irregularities in how the brain processes binocular vision can leave you with a two-dimensional view of the world as the less dominant eye's input goes mostly or completely ignored.
Our Meridian optometrists at Primary Eyecare & Optical of Meridian, Dr. Duong, can diagnose this condition early in life through pediatric eye exams and administer the right treatment to correct it.
Amblyopia can be a difficult condition to understand. It isn't actually a physical problem in the eye itself, but it can be a reaction to a physical problem that really does exist, such as a refractive error or an eye misalignment (strabismus). For whatever reason, the part of the brain that processes vision decides to favor one eye's signals over those of the other, perceiving only blurry vision from the lazy eye or even ignoring that eye's data altogether. This may happen whenever the nerve pathways between the eye and brain are insufficiently stimulated, regardless of whether there's anything wrong with the eye in question.
Since amblyopia may leave you essentially seeing out of one eye, it can severely limit depth perception. This is a problematic situation -- especially in children who are still developing physical coordination and learning about their surroundings.
Amblyopia affects up to 3 percent of all children, making it a distressing common problem among this age group. But the good news is that ambylopia is also relatively easy to correct during this phase of life. Our Meridian eye doctors checks eye dominance, among other aspects of eye function, as part of a routine pediatric eye exam. If you child appears to have a case of lazy eye, we can administer corrective treatments such as:
Patching - Patching the dominant eye can jog the stimulation of the other eye's nerve pathways to the brain, normalizing vision from this eye.
Atropine eye drops - Eye drops containing a substance called atropine can make vision in the dominant eye temporarily blurry. Our eye doctor may prescribe a daily dose of atropine to encourage greater use of the lazy eye.
Ambylopia may be easier to treat during childhood, but some adults can benefit from treatment too. Even though the brain loses some of its adaptability with age, it can still alter its processing patterns in response to the right stimulation or need. You may require more treatment at our eye care center than a child being treated for the same condition, but anything is possible. Call our office today to schedule a pediatric eye exam for your little one -- or a grown-up exam for yourself!