Having a lazy eye can impair your vision, which can interfere with routine or daily activities. Although you might hear more about children being treated for lazy eye, adult lazy eye treatment is also possible. Knowing more about this condition in adults can help you better understand your treatment options.
What Is Lazy Eye?
Lazy eye refers to an eye that has reduced vision and tends to move in an outward or inward direction. This typically occurs due to problems with vision development at an early stage. This condition, also known as amblyopia, can develop in children when they’re born or when they’re older. It usually develops in children aged 7 years or younger.
Lazy eye develops when changes to neural pathways between the eye and the brain occur. The eye that is weaker does not get as many visual signals as the stronger eye, causing it to wander. This also affects the ability of both eyes to work together and results in vision problems for the affected eye. This can happen due to a muscle imbalance in the eye or large differences in eye prescriptions for nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Symptoms of Lazy Eye
The most noticeable symptom of a lazy eye is having an eye that moves or wanders instead of looking in the same direction as the stronger eye. While lazy eye tends to occur in one eye, it can affect both eyes in some cases. Other symptoms of lazy eye include the following:
- Problems with depth perception
- Abnormal vision screening results
- Tendency to tilt your head
- Closing the affected eye
- Squinting the affected eye
- Eye strain
- Visual fatigue
Although lazy eyes can cause visible symptoms, some cases are not found unless an eye exam is done. Since a lazy eye can lead to long-term vision problems and even permanent vision loss, having it treated is important. Factors that can raise your risk of lazy eye include a family history of this condition, being born prematurely, or being a small size at birth.
Are Eye Exams Important?
Eye exams are an important part of diagnosing lazy eye in children and adults. Optometrists look for signs of a lazy eye, such as a wandering eye, and conduct vision tests. When children are checked for lazy eye, the tests that are done differ based on their age. As an adult, optometrists will check your vision for abnormalities and recommend a treatment plan. Keep in mind that you should have routine eye exams done every year. When you have vision problems, such as a lazy eye, you might need to have eye exams done more often.
Adult Lazy Eye Treatment
Treatment for lazy eye in adults may include a combination of vision therapy, prescription lenses, and eye patching. Wearing prescription lenses isn’t enough to correct this problem in adults, but it can improve binocular vision in which both eyes work together. For some adults with lazy eye, patching might be done as part of treatment. This involves covering the stronger eye with an eye patch or using eye drops to cloud or block vision in that eye. This forces the brain to focus on the other eye, which can help correct lazy eye.
Lazy Eye and Vision Therapy
Vision therapy is an important part of treating lazy eye in adults. This type of therapy involves doing exercises aimed at improving your visual skills. In order to correct or treat lazy eye, exercises for this condition focus on improving binocular vision. Optometrists can develop an individualized vision therapy plan with exercises that effectively help you develop better binocular vision. With time and commitment, these exercises can reduce lazy eye symptoms and help your eyes work together.
If you’re looking for more information on adult lazy eye treatment in the Squamish area, please contact Garibaldi Eye Care to make an appointment. Our optometrists can evaluate your condition and recommend effective ways to treat lazy eye, such as vision therapy and prescription lenses.