A decline in vision perception because of irregular eye growth and development during infancy can cause ‘lazy eye’. In most cases lazy eye affects only one eye, but it can occur in both eyes. When a child is affected by lazy eye, any abnormality or impairment is not immediately evident, but if it is not treated the child might suffer either a total or partial loss of eyesight. Lazy eye tends to be hereditary, and occurs more frequently in prematurely born children, or those whose vision develops very slowly.
Causes for lazy eye
Lazy eye is generally caused when nerve routes that connect the brain and eye do not develop normally. This generates a condition in which the brain gives preferential treatment to one eye because of impaired vision in the other eye. This blurs the child’s vision and causes the eye to cross or wander. The impaired eye then tends to move to and fro, till sooner or later the brain starts completely ignoring signals from the impaired or lazy eye.
If your child displays the following symptoms, then the possibility is that the child is suffering from lazy eye:
- Eyes that do not function in coordination and simultaneously.
- One eye that is not stable and moves to and fro continuously.
- Inadequate sensitivity.
Most children who suffer from lazy eye show visible signs of improvement within some weeks up to several months. Studies have shown that children with lazy eye can be effectively treated until they are 17 years of age. However, the earlier the treatment is started, the better the chances of complete recovery with minimum or absolutely no complications. Depending upon the reason for the impairment, traditionalist measures such as remedial eyewear or eye patches are quite effective in treating lazy eye.
Quite frequently when the damage is greater, surgery may be necessary to remove childhood cataracts. But more often eye wear or eye patches are sufficient treatment. Eye drops such as atropine temporarily reduces the vision in the stronger eye, thereby encouraging the weaker eye to improve its functions. This is considered a viable option to the use of eye patches. Usually the child needs to wear spectacles continuously until the lazy impaired eye starts functioning normally