Amblyopia or Lazy Eye Can be Successfully Treated in Older Children and Adults
NEW STUDIES SHOW THAT AMBLYOPIA OR LAZY EYE CAN BE SUCCESSFULLY TREATED IN OLDER
There is still a general belief amongst ophthalmic professionals that amblyopia or Lazy
can be treated only up to a certain age, usually below 10-12 years and works only when
treated at such young ages. New scientific research contradicts popular beliefs and
medical practice regarding age limits for the successful treatment of lazy eye. These
doctors and their staff continue to offer outdated treatment programs to patients,
than providing the newly proven treatment programs which give the best outcomes. Eye
patching or atropine drops and/or corrective lenses continue to be the most popular
but supervised visual training activities, known as Vision Therapy are not widely
or frequently recommended. Did You Know Most Vision Takes Place in the Brain? The eye
the picture of what we see.
Our brain helps us decode what it is.Vison is a
process involving (1) the eye, which captures the image, (2) the visual pathway within
brain (which delivers the image from the eye to the brain) and (3) the visual cortex
interprets or gives meaning to the images). Children and adults with 20/20 vision can
experience symptoms such as visual fatigue, headaches, or difficulty with visual tasks
because of disturbances along the neuropathways of the vision system within the brain.
patients experience struggles in school or the inability to enjoy regular activities.
is Lazy Eye? As the name suggests, a “lazy eye” is one that does not take part fully in
seeing process, or sees ‘less’ than normal. Bodily, a person with a lazy eye, looks the
as anyone else, as in there is no physical deformity. The vision or sight in the
eye is less than what a normal eye sees, but not due to any pathological cause, but is
functional. The images the lazy eye sends to the brain are ignored (suppressed). As a
result, only the better eye is used for sight by the brain. If not treated, vision can
impaired. There are a number of reasons why an eye might shut down, all of which involve
imbalance in performance between the eyes. Here are some of the reasons:
- Constant eye turn (strabismus) in one eye
- High prescription (blurry vision) in one eye
- Reduced vision in one eye from trauma, lid droop or cataract
In all of these cases, the brain uses the two eyes very
differently. Early in vision development, the brain compensates for the imbalance by
shutting down the weaker eye, resulting in a single, clear image in the other eye. The
treatment of lazy eye is to encourage its use whenever possible. Corrective eyeglasses
contact lenses can stimulate or push the eye to see well. Occlusion of the better fellow
with either patching or blurring eye drops (atropine) can also force the use of the lazy
eye. In addition, doing near visual activities with the occlusion, such as reading,
computer, and playing video games, will stimulate greater use of the lazy eye. All of
approaches are currently in practice.
Vision therapy or visual training exercises support the
development of improved vision in patients with lazy eye. They stimulate the eye-brain
connection and force the lazy eye to take a more active part in seeing. Concept of
Rehabilitation Neuroplasticity has been shown to be active in many regions of the brain.
brain is not static. It consists of a dynamic system of neural networks that have the
capacity of significant growth following repeated stimulation. For example, it is
that new synapses can be created to counter a deficit acquired within the visual field
Patching or Atropine Drops Are Often Not Enough While occlusion (eye patching) or
may enhance visual acuity in the amblyopic eye, these techniques do not enhance the
patient’s ability to use the two eyes together (binocular vision). If the patient does
learn to combine input from the lazy eye and the fellow eye simultaneously, then the
beneficial effects of eye patching may be lost.
This may explain why 25% of patients, who are
treated with eye patching, experience a regression in vision after the patching
has ended. Treatment with Eye Muscle Exercises or Orthoptics Are Not Enough Eye muscle
exercises called orthoptics are employed with or without eye patching to fix a lazy eye.
Orthoptists practice eye muscle exercises (convergence, etc.) but this remains limited
its scope as it almost exclusively focuses on eye muscles only (convergence) and
the relation with the human brain (neuroplasticity).
Lazy Eye or amblyopia is a neurological condition, so
treatments that address the eye muscles only is not effective. Vision Therapy Treats
Eyes and the Entire Visual SystemVision therapy provides additional treatments for all
aspects of vision impacted by amblyopia. With vision therapy, the patient engages in
activities which require the simultaneous use of both the lazy eye and unaffected eye at
distances (near, middle and far range). Through a series of steps, vision therapy
the brain to use both eyes together, showing a way to allow the adult brain to rewire
and form new connections. Vision Therapy is Physiotherapy for the Lazy Eye It has long
accepted that our ability to move and coordinate can be enhanced with training and
No one would question the benefits of physical therapy for a patient who has sustained a
injury. However, for most of the last century, therapy for a lazy eye has been
because it was thought that improvements in vision could not be made past the “critical
period.” Recent studies show that we have the ability to change, enhance, and develop
perceptual and visual skills throughout life. Optometric vision therapy is effective in
treating people with amblyopia AT ALL AGES. No one should be denied treatment simply on
basis of age.
At Bhala Netra Super Speciality Eye Hospital After
use of the Vision Rehabilitation Program over a six month period, patients have reported
improvement in their sight Vision Therapy sessions develop efficient visual-motor and
perceptive-cognitive processing skills. Initial sessions focus on enhancing the brain’s
ability to control many functions of the eye including eye alignment, eye teaming
and coordination, focusing, movement accuracy as well as visual speed and integration.
the program develops visual-motor skills and endurance through the use of specialized
computer and optical devices, including therapeutic lenses, prisms, and filters. During
final stages of therapy, patient’s newly acquired visual skills are reinforced and
through repetition and integration with their motor and cognitive skills.