June 7, 2010

Symptoms & Treatment for Lazy Eye

Posted in Category : Child Health

Lazy eye syndrome is a condition that most commonly occurs in children. It is a vision disorder that results in children that have crossed eyes. This condition may lead to permanent visual damage wherein sight may be possible only through one eye. Lazy eye syndrome results because babies are not able to exert complete control over the muscles of the eyes when they are born, thereby resulting in crossed eyes. Eye muscle control is gained by the age of six months and after that the child will be able to have proper control over eye focus.

The symptoms of lazy eye syndrome include disrupted movements of the eyes beyond the age of six months. One of the eyes is likely to be able to focus normally, while the other one may focus upwards or inwards. The child is also likely to tilt his head or rub his eye habitually. Activities which require perception of distances such as playing catch with a ball may be difficult for the child. If the muscles responsible for eye movements are not properly aligned, the child may not be able to develop the ability to focus normally. This causes a failure of the eyes to simultaneously focus on a particular object. The brain makes up for this by bypassing the information from one eye, causing the eye to become lazy or amblyopic. In a few instances, lazy eye syndrome may result from malnutrition which causes damage to the optic nerve.

Diagnosis of lazy eye syndrome requires examination by an ophthalmologist. The doctor usually does this by shining a light into the child’s eyes and then moving the light, while observing the child’s eye movements. Then the movements of each eye are individually examined by covering and uncovering each eye. Mild cases of lazy eye syndrome may occur without any symptoms and as such children below the age of three must be diagnosed by an ophthalmologist. If a child is found to be affected by this condition, parents must strictly follow the prescribed course of treatment. Treatment for this condition may require the child to wear an eye patch over one eye in an attempt to make the brain process the information from the weak eye. Eye drops may also be prescribed to blur the strong eye so that the weaker eye can perform the required action. In some cases the child may be required to wear special glasses. These glasses have one normal lens for the weaker eye and one opaque lens for the stronger eye. This will force the weaker eye to perform and transmit information to the brain.