Many people refer to amblyopia by its more common name, lazy eye. Parents are often taken by surprise when they first notice their child's symptoms. Our eye doctors at Karns Vision Center in Knoxville can treat lazy eye and a wide range of other eye health conditions.
Our optometrists note that amblyopia is only one type of poor vision. As many as three percent of children in the United States suffer from this condition. The disorder is sometimes present in newborns. Researchers have not found a specific cause of the disorder but frequently link it to strabismus, commonly referred to as crossed eyes.
The brain of an amblyopia patient processes information from the affected eye more slowly than that from the child’s normal eye. Although the disorder affects the patient’s vision, parents might not initially notice any overt signs of a problem.
Once the symptoms are apparent, it is not always obvious to parents to connect them to this disorder. Distance vision issues make it difficult for some children to judge how far away an object is. Some patients shut an eye, tilt the head, or squint due to having trouble seeing. The affected eye might wonder at times or point outward or toward the child’s nose.
The most common risk factors for this condition include:
- Family history, cataracts in childhood, or other specific eye issues
- Premature birth
- Small birth size
- Developmental disabilities
Treatments Are Available
The effectiveness of treatment is directly linked to how early the amblyopia diagnosis occurs. The use of vision therapy and an eye patch can help the eyes work in tandem when strabismus is the cause. For patients with refraction issues such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, corrective eyewear is usually the preferred treatment.
While the use of eye patches is common, eye drops are more compatible with some children. In the most serious cases, the treatment to alleviate this condition may require surgery by an ophthalmologist to correct the muscle involved.
Schedule an Exam with Our Eye Doctors in Knoxville, TN
For years, residents of Knoxville and the surrounding areas have relied on Karns Vision Center to provide full-service optometry care. Whether you need corrective eyewear, specialized care such as computer vision treatment, or services for disorders such as amblyopia, our eye doctors are ready to help with personalized attention and the most current tools and technology. Call us today at (865) 247-7715 to schedule an appointment.