Affecting around 3 to 5 per cent of both children and adults in the world, amblyopia is considered both as the most common cause of visual impairment in childhood and the primary cause of monocular blindness among adults. It is a pathological condition that occurs when the eye and the brain are not working together properly, resulting in the reduction of vision in one of the eyes. The eye itself looks normal, but it is not being used normally because the brain is favouring the other eye. This condition is referred to as lazy eye. Amblyopia may have various causes, such as strabismus or an imbalance in the positioning of the two eyes, myopia or nearsightedness in one eye, hyperopia or farsightedness in one eye, a case of astigmatism, the presence of a cataract or just about any condition that tends to deviate the eyes from its normal functioning. Amblyopia in children can be corrected, but adults may not be as fortunate, though new research is showing some hope. And while people are still waiting for new breakthroughs to come, it is best to familiarise yourself first with some tips on how to remedy lazy eye.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Eye patch
- Eye drops or ointment
- Vision therapy program
- Pair of glasses
- Virtual reality video games
- Desktop or laptop computer
Consult your doctor if you think you need to use a patch. If he allows it, place a patch over your good eye, which allows the eye affected by amblyopia to get stronger. Have the doctor monitor what is going on with both eyes during the course of the treatment.
Use eye ointment or eye drops on the good eye to cause blurred vision. Consequently, the weak eye will have to work harder, thereby strengthening it.
Ensure that you find ways to exercise your weak eye daily or regularly. Ask your doctor about some techniques on how to exercise the eyes. This can gradually make both eyes work together.
Ask your doctor to recommend to you a specialist on vision therapy. When you undergo a vision therapy program, you will be asked to exercise the weak eye in order to strengthen it.
Consider wearing glasses and ask your doctor if he can prescribe the right pair of glasses for you. The regular use of glasses can improve the weak eye's focus.
Use virtual reality computer games to make the weak eye stronger. When you are playing a video game, each of your eyes receives varying signals from the virtual reality. This causes the player's brain to combine signals from both eyes in order to play the game successfully.
Use basic computer desktop software combined with vision training exercises. The same principle works as above.
Consider the option of corrective surgery. This is another effective way of directly correcting the focus of the weak eye as well as the coordination between the two eyes.
Tips and warnings
- Discuss with your doctor the possibility of taking part in clinical trials. These trials might pave the way for you to explore other ways of correcting your lazy eye.
- Never hesitate to get a second opinion. Different doctors may recommend different treatments and the more options you have, the more you can find the best treatment for you.
- Reverse amblyopia may result if you keep a patch on your good eye for too long a time. This means that the previously healthy eye may become the lazy eye.
- Corrective surgery may carry with it some risks such as double vision, faulty correction of the lazy eye, or in very rare cases, loss of vision. Worse, if there is an unexpected or unwanted result, a further operation might be necessary.
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