3 Myths About Your Child's Lazy Eye

Posted on: 30 October 2017


Lazy eye or amblyopia is a common eye disorder that develops in young children. It causes your child's eye to become weak. If you believe your child may be suffering from lazy eye, check out these three myths and learn the truth about amblyopia. 

Lazy Eye Is a Disease of the Eye

First, lazy eye isn't a disease at all. It is a condition that can occur in perfectly healthy eyes. Second, lazy eye isn't only a problem with the eye. In fact, the real problem is with the brain. The most common cause of amblyopia is strabismus. In strabismus, the eyes cannot work together. One eye looks at the desired object, but the other eye looks elsewhere. This sends two conflicting images to the brain, which confuses it. To alleviate this problem, the brain chooses to ignore the incorrect image. As a result, the brain also ignores that eye, causing it to become weak or lazy. 

Lazy Eye Goes Away on its Own With Time

Many newborns have trouble focusing on the same object, causing their eyes to cross, but this problem usually corrects itself after a few short months. This does not mean your child's amblyopia will also correct itself, and lazy eye isn't just a cosmetic concern. The fact that your child's brain is ignoring the eye is a big deal. The old saying holds true: use it or lose it. The longer the eye is ignored, the worse the vision gets, and if left untreated, the brain can actually forget about the eye completely, leading to legal blindness in that eye.

Treatment Works at Any Age

Luckily, treatment for lazy eye is available, but you must be aggressive. Treatment should begin as soon as possible, while the eyes and brain are still developing. Trying to treat lazy eye after the age of seven usually leads to poor results. Treating amblyopia is about forcing your child to use the weak eye. A patch covers the strong eye or drops that blur vision are placed in the strong eye for a few hours a day. This forces the brain to use the weak eye. Much like working out with weights, this allows your child's eye to become stronger.

If your child has lazy eye, you can't wait a moment. To prevent serious vision impairment or blindness, you need to start treatment immediately. Start right now by contacting an optometrist in your area.