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Lazy eye, also known as amblyopia, affects children and adults alike. And while the majority of treatments for this condition have focused on children, vision therapy offers a new, science-based option that can benefit both children and adults.
Read on as a vision therapy optometrist Washington, DC talks about lazy eye, what causes it, and how vision therapy can help.
Lazy eye is a condition where one eye is weaker than the other. It typically begins in early childhood.
The brain and the eyes work together to create the images we see. With amblyopia, the brain doesn’t receive data from the weaker eye like it should. When this happens, a person will compensate for this weakness by relying on the strong eye. Consequently, the weak eye continues to get weaker for lack of use. Over time, the brain all but ignores input from the weaker eye as the condition progresses.
More often than not, a childhood eye condition, such as a congenital cataract, a crossed eye, or a refractive error like astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness causes the brain to start ignoring input from the weaker eye.
Symptoms of lazy eye include:
When treated early on in childhood using traditional approaches, lazy eye can be corrected and normal vision restored. However, vision therapy can benefit people of any age affected by lazy eye.
Vision therapy focuses on strengthening communications between the brain and the eyes, more specifically the weaker eye in the case of amblyopia. Granted, lazy eye affects vision, but it’s actually a neurological disorder because of the miscommunications (or lack of communication) that takes place between the brain and the weak eye.
Vision therapy works in much the same way as physical therapy, only it focuses on improving how your eyes work instead of how the body’s muscles work. This line of treatment uses prisms, filters, computerized activities, and other devices to stimulate communications between the brain and the weak eye, while also “retraining” both eyes to work together as a team as they should.
Ultimately, it’s not possible to outgrow lazy eye, but this condition is still treatable at any age.
If you have more questions or wish to schedule a consultation, please feel free to call us, your local vision therapy optometrist Washington, DC, anytime!