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Understanding amblyopia

When it comes to vision, there are a variety of conditions that can impact one’s vision health and wellness. In childhood, many children who have a lazy eye may be diagnosed with a condition known as amblyopia. Amblyopia is often present in early childhood, and can be addressed early on to address the problem.

What happens with amblyopia?

Dr. Steve Thom of Thom Eye and Laser Clinic in Fargo, ND describes amblyopia, or lazy eye, as the result of one eye essentially ignoring images from the eye to the brain. This can cause one eye to become “lazy” and not function at its best. In turn, this puts more strain on the other eye to correct this imbalance of image information and can cause patients to experience permanent changes to their vision if not corrected as soon as it is diagnosed in the early childhood years.

What are the symptoms of amblyopia?

Children may experience:

  • Increased squinting to see things
  • Closing of one eye to see through the dominant eye
  • A visibly less active eye when compared to the other
  • Poor visual acuity
  • Poor visibility when relating with three-dimensional images
  • Cross eyes (strabismus)

How is amblyopia treated?

When children are diagnosed with amblyopia, they then speak with an eye physician about the treatment options available. In most cases, the treatment for amblyopia is to make the weaker eye work harder than the dominant eye. This is done by having the child wear an eye patch over their dominant eye for several weeks fulltime until the eye affected by amblyopia gets stronger. Another way to do this is by placing eye drops which can cause blurring of the dominant eye and retrain the other eye to function properly as the dominant eye does. With proper treatment, this condition can be reversed and permanent vision problems can be avoided.

Are you concerned about amblyopia?

At Thom Eye and Laser Clinic, we welcome patients in and around the area to learn more about this condition and how it can be addressed with the help of an ophthalmologist. Dr. Steve Thom and his providers can be reached by calling (701) 235-5200 to request an appointment at the practice, conveniently located in Fargo, ND at 2601 University Drive South.

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