What is Causing Your Child’s Lazy Eye? Understanding the Condition

amblyopiaLazy eyes, which are also sometimes referred to as amblyopia, is a condition that affects vision, causing one ‘good’ eye to compensate for the other. It’s a really common health issue; in fact, around 1 in 50 children will develop it, and most are diagnosed by the age of 4.

Why Has Your Child Got a Lazy Eye?

There are a number of reasons why your child might have a lazy eye, but don’t worry, it’s nothing you’ve done wrong! Often, people assume that children have the same vision as we do, but actually, that’s not the case at all. They have to learn to see, and their brains have to master the art of interpreting signals sent from the eye.

This process takes a surprisingly long time. In fact, it can be up to 5 years before a child can see as clearly as a grown-up. If something adversely affects the eye as it’s developing, the signals to the brain are also affected, causing the brain to rely more on the ‘better’ eye. This causes the lazy eye.

What Sort of Factors Cause It?

Squinting is the most common, and this is also fairly easy to diagnose, as you’ll be able to notice it by looking at your child. One eye will be focused ahead, whilst the other eye might be looking in a different direction. If untreated, the brain simply starts to ignore the messages sent from the squinting eye, which causes the eye to become lazy.

Refractive errors are also fairly common, which are caused by developmental problems in the eye itself, such as long-sightedness or astigmatism. Other causes could include cataracts or a droopy eyelid, though these are both rare.

What Can You Do?

Fortunately, rectifying a lazy eye is a fairly straightforward procedure, but it will involve surgery. The treatment enjoys a good success rate and recovery is generally very speedy afterwards. If you’re concerned about your child’s eyes and would like to book an appointment to speak to Dr Guggino, please call the team at 813 8761400.