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Lazy eye: what is it and exercises to correct it

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Average sight results from the proper functioning of the two eyes and the brain working together. When one of the two eyes does not work well, especially in the early stages of life, a condition called “lazy eye,” “lazy eye,” or amblyopia (as it is known medically) can develop. This is the most common vision problem in childhood and, when not treated in time, causes the problem to continue into adult life. The most important thing you should know is that it often goes unnoticed and, therefore, it is essential to know when to consult a specialist.

In this FastlyHealarticle, you can find helpful and reliable information that will allow you to understand better what the lazy eye is, what its symptoms are, its treatment, and what kind of exercises can be performed to correct it.

What is a lazy eye?

Lazy eye (or amblyopia) is a problem in which there is a decrease in insight due to the poor development of the areas of the brain responsible for vision. This is produced because the stimuli are not enough due to various diseases in early childhood, and this development is slowed.

It can occur in one or both eyes, the latter being rarer. Diseases that can cause amblyopia are not always easily detectable, so prevention is essential. This is achieved by taking all children from 3 or 4 years of age to ophthalmology or pediatric control or earlier if something abnormal is observed.

Lazy eye: symptoms

Due to the many diseases that can cause lazy eye, the symptoms that children can suffer are diverse:

  • Headaches.
  • Reading-writing problems.
  • Deviation of one or both eyes (strabismus) inward or outward.
  • The child reports seeing less than one eye.
  • Eyes that seem to move in an uncoordinated way.
  • Impossibility of fixing the sight.
  • Unable to follow a moving object.
  • Head tilt.
  • Clumsiness, the child trips frequently or collides with things around him.
  • Closing or squinting one eye.
  • Difficulty watching movies or devices in 3D.
  • Vision test results are not typical.

The child may not have any symptoms, so all children between 3 and 4 years old must consult ophthalmology to detect the problem as early as possible.

Likewise, if the child has a family history of strabismus, lazy eye, infantile cataract, or if he was premature or suffers from a neurological disease, it is essential that he also carries out an early control.

Lazy eye treatment

The treatment of lazy eye is carried out through different strategies, always seeking the effort of the eye that sees the least. This should be done at an early age, as the development of the neural structures of vision continues until the age of 6 to 8 years, and the earlier the problem is detected, the better the results can be obtained. At this stage, you try to achieve the best possible vision.

This does not mean that if the problem is detected at an older age, there is nothing to do since studies confirm that the treatment of lazy eyes at an older age can also give good results.

The way to improve lazy eye varies according to the cause of it, but basically, what should be done is the following:

  • Consult the specialist: as a first measure, if the child has any of the symptoms above or if he is between 3 and 4 years old and has never been evaluated by specialists, it is suggested to consult an ophthalmologist since reaching an accurate and early diagnosis will generate that the treatment has better results.
  • Correction lenses: it is likely that a vision problem will be detected that requires correction with glasses, so these must be used during treatment. Sometimes it is enough to correct the defect.
  • Occlusion patches: it is widespread for the specialist to indicate the daily use of a patch that covers the better eye. This is usually used between 1 and 3 hours, according to medical indications, and serves to stimulate vision in the lazy eye and, in this way, ensure that the brain also develops appropriately. While wearing it, it is suggested that you engage in stressful activities such as painting, reading, or watching television.
  • Filters: it is placed on the lenses of the stronger eye; in this way, blurring is generated on the healthy side, and more significant effort is caused by the eye with amblyopia.
  • Eye drops: Sometimes, atropine is indicated. When applied to the eye, this drug causes temporary blurring of the healthy vision, making the lazy eye strain. It should be noted that it is a medication that can generate side effects, such as sensitivity to light, blurred vision for a long time (hours, days), and dry mouth, among others. It should not be used in infants or patients with lung diseases, heart failure, or arrhythmias.
  • Surgery: this may be indicated in cases of strabismus (deviation of one or both eyes), cataracts, or drooping eyelid.

The improvement can be evidenced after several weeks of starting treatment, up to months later, and the duration of treatment can range from six months to two years.

In a second stage, maintenance therapy is continued to prevent the achievements from being lost and vision worsening. This treatment should be carried out until approximately 9 or 10 around.

Exercises to correct a lazy eye

Different exercises have been proposed to correct lazy or amblyopic eyes. According to some studies that compare treatment with or without performing these exercises, they do not find better results doing them. Instead, others suggest that performing exercises to strengthen the use of both eyes simultaneously is better than just occluding the good eye.

There are many exercises available on the Internet. Still, it is important to keep in mind that these must be suitable for each patient because the cause of lazy eye is different in each case. Thus, there are exercises to:

  • Improve ocular deviation or strabismus through muscular activities.
  • Fixation exercises: assembling puzzles, reading, drawing, virtual games.
  • Use other sense organs that help improve vision.
  • Use interrelation between both eyes.
  • Use the neural connections of vision and memory.
  • Improve the perception of moving objects.

On the other hand, there are specific applications for mobile phones with games to improve the lazy eye. Still, scientific studies showed that most of these are not checked by vision professionals, making the benefit of their use doubtful.

Therefore, if you think your child suffers from lazy eye, it is best to consult an ophthalmology specialist, as they will be able to indicate the best treatment available to achieve the best results.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any kind of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Lazy eye: what it is and exercises to correct it, we recommend that you enter our Eyes and vision category .

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