Amblyopia

Thursday, February 03, 2011

People sometimes refer to amblyopia as lazy eye because those affected by this condition appear to have an eye that wanders or does not move with the other eye. In most children, however, amblyopia is hard to detect. Dr. Edward Hill discusses amblyopia in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Normal vision requires the eyes to receive images and the brain to process them correctly. Amblyopia, or lazy eye, occurs when a childs eye does not get enough use and the visual system in the brain does not develop properly. This can lead to poor vision in the affected eye.

Normal vision develops very rapidly during the first two years of life and continues to develop until about age 9. If there is a problem with vision in one eye, it disrupts this learning process, and the brain stops developing normal vision for that eye.

Despite the nickname, an eye with amblyopia is not actually lazy. A child with amblyopia may not even realize that he or she is using only one eye. Ignoring the image from the weak eye is the brains unconscious response.

Treatment during early childhood can usually reverse amblyopia. Treatment after childhood is usually less helpful but may improve vision in some cases. Be sure to have your children checked by an eye specialist to detect and treat amblyopia early.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.