This disorder, which affects about 3 % of people, occurs when the eye does not develop normal sight during childhood. This disorder usually occurs in one eye due to a lazy eye disorder caused by various factors such as refractive errors (hyperopia, myopia, or astigmatism), Strabismus, or lack of clarity of visual direction (due to factors such as cataract, corneal opacity, and ptosis). Lack of resolution in the affected eye and a better image in the healthy eyeof the patient, causes the brain to choosethe healthy eye for seeing and in fact block the visual processing of one eye to prevent double-vision, in other words the brain“turns off“theaffectedeye.
Amblyopia develops early, usually before age 6, and is often detected by parents, teachers,or physicians. At an age in which the childrenare able to express their problems, poor vision, eye fatigue or headache may be a complaint. But in most cases the child does not complain and it is the symptoms of disorders such as strabismus and visual pathway opacities like cataract and corneal opacity that may lead to a diagnosis.But when Amblyopia is caused by refractive errors, its diagnosis is difficult because children can easily see by their healthy eye and this cancompensate for the low vision in their affectedeye; therefore, parents and teachers should pay special attention to the condition of children’s eyesight.
Fortunately, amblyopia,if diagnosed early enough, can beeasily treated. The most common treatment for amblyopia is eye patching (occlusion).This is where the good eye is covered with an eye patch, forcing the brain to see with amblyopic (lazy) eye. This treatment may take weeks or even months, and of course healthy eyes should be opened frequently. In cases where amblyopia is caused by refractive errors,prescribing glasses or contact lenses will result in a better resolution in affected eye.In cases where amblyopia is caused by strabismus, it can be treated bycorrective surgery. A point to be noted is that the visual system evolutioncontinues until about age 8-10 years and after this time, it is very unlikely to change. So if lazy eye is not treated at an early age, in most cases, no treatment will be effective and a severe loss of vision may occur in one eye.
To prevent amblyopia, infants should be examined, immediately after birth, by pediatricians and thenin 3-4 months and 2-3 yearsby an Ophthalmologist.Fortunately, Iran hasrecently implemented a plan to prevent amblyopia in which all nursery and pre-school children will undergo a free eye examination.So it is recommended that, by participating in this project, you make sure of your child’s vision health.