Can Lazy Eye be Treated for Adults?

Published on
April 27, 2022

There is a long-standing and often perpetuated myth that laze eyes can only be treated when a child is under the age of 10. Therefore, for a long time, there was no recommendation for treatment of lazy eye in children older than nine years of age. The good news is there are very effective treatments of amblyopia for people of all ages, including adults.

What is a lazy eye?

A lazy eye, medically known as amblyopia, occurs when there is a lack of coordination between the eyes, resulting in one eye not seeing well, even after optical correction. As a result, each eye receives an image that does not align with the other, and the brain shuts it off, suppressing the image of the weaker eye. The brain is dependent on the second eye, which is the only eye capable of achieving 20/20 vision. 

What is the most effective method of treating a lazy eye in adults?

It is important to explore the possibility of vision therapy as a means to improve your vision if you have a longstanding lazy eye. According to recent studies, including one funded by the National Eye Institute, amblyopia or lazy eye can be effectively treated well into adulthood. Vision therapy for lazy eyes aims to retrain the neurological pathways between the eyes and the brain, so that they can achieve binocular vision, or the capability of the brain to use both eyes simultaneously. Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga, under the leadership of Dr. Heather McBryar, FCOVD, provides vision therapy treatment plans that are tailored to each patient's needs and visual skills. It's important to be patient, as the treatment can take longer than it would in a young person. Compliance is an important part of many treatment methods, including vision therapy, and an adult patient is normally more compliant than a child.

Is vision therapy the only treatment for a lazy eye?

When treating amblyopia in adults we often employ a combination of strategies to both restart the usage of the weaker eye while training the two eyes to work together. This is called monocular fixation in binocular field (MFBF). A patient may benefit from one or a combination of the following in addition to vision therapy for treating a lazy eye:

  • Ensuring that the patient has the most accurate prescription for each eye
  • Eye patching or eye drops which is called occlusion

Amblyopia can be treated for both children and adults. Contact our office at (423) 710-3965 to schedule an eye exam and consultation. Dr. Heather McBryar and her staff have extensive experience helping adult patients with lazy eyes improve their vision.

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