How is Lazy Eye Treated?

Lazy eye has been proven to be effectively treated using vision therapy, oftentimes combined with other methods such as providing the proper optical correction and patching the eye.

Amplify Eyecare Chattanooga

What is a lazy eye?

Lazy eye is a condition, referred to medically as amblyopia, in which there is a lack of coordination between both eyes. This results in each eye receiving their own image and in order to compensate, the brain only has proper communication with one eye while shutting off the other eye, known as the ‘lazy eye’. The lazy eye cannot achieve clear vision, even with an optical correction.

Treatment

At Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga every treatment plan is customized for the individual patient’s needs and visual skills, depending on the severity of the case and the cause for amblyopia. Lazy eye is treated with a few different methods, and often there is a combination of any of the following techniques to yield the most effective results:

  • Providing accurate optical correction 
  • Patching 
  • Vision therapy 
  • Virtual Reality 
  • Eye Drops
Treatment

Optical Correction

In order to achieve optimal vision, it is important that each eye has the appropriate optical correction to help achieve clear vision. Amblyopia is most commonly caused by a very high optical prescription in either one eye or both eyes and therefore it’s crucial that the patient receives an accurate prescription for glasses.

 

Patching

Patching used to be the main method for treating amblyopia, however now we are aware of certain disadvantages that come with this technique and therefore it is used in moderation and along with vision therapy. The patching method is when we close the strong eye, forcing the lazy eye to strengthen and stop depending on the good eye. Patching can be achieved using an eye patch or using a prescription eye drop called atropine which blurs the vision of the strong eye. The main challenges that patching presents will be discussed below and they are compliance and preventing the eyes from working together as a team.

  • Compliance: Compliance is an issue that often needs to be dealt with when it comes to patching. It’s important to understand a child’s resistance as we close up their good eye which they solely depend on for clear vision and then we expect them to perform tasks using the weak eye with poor vision. It is no surprise if the child does not want to comply. Due to the difficulty with compliance other methods of occlusion, or blurring the stronger eye, are sometimes used. These include virtual reality based games and activities and prescription eye drops.
  • Teamwork of the Eyes: Additionally, the purpose of treating a lazy eye is to strengthen and promote the teamwork of both eyes together, known as binocular vision. Ironically, it has been noted that patching forces the situation where the patient completely relies on only one eye as we have closed off the strong eye. When the patching treatment has been completed, there are patients who struggle to learn how to use both eyes together.

Understanding the challenges that patching presents, brings us to the advantages that vision therapy has to offer. Patching can be very effective, especially when it’s combined with vision therapy.

Vision Therapy

The purpose of vision therapy is to strengthen the entire visual system, which includes the brain and both eyes, ensuring that they are all functioning together properly as a team. Lazy eye is a condition that manifests when the visual system is not working together as a team, as the brain is suppressing the lazy eye and only working with the stronger eye. Vision therapy uses repeated exercises and activities to train the brain to communicate properly with both eyes. 

At Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga each patient has an individualized vision therapy treatment plan based on their visual skills and needs. Vision therapy can be very effectively combined along with moderate patching of the strong eye. This encourages the weak eye to step up and function without relying on the stronger eye while still being supported with vision therapy. The repeated activities train the brain to work together with both eyes.

Common Questions

There are three causes of amblyopia: The most common cause is a high prescription of glasses in either both eyes or in just one eye (which causes a big difference between the prescription of both eyes). If an eye is wandering in or out, in any direction, it can cause amblyopia and this tends to be the most noticeable cause. If there is something physical blocking the eye, such as cataract or a droopy eyelid, it can cause amblyopia.
Dr. Heather McBryar has lots of experience in performing comprehensive eye exams in order to gain a deep understanding of the patient’s visual system and how the eyes are working together. The eye exam will check how each eye sees on its own, as well as how the eyes see together. Depth perception and other various visual skills will be tested to determine how each eye is functioning and how the brain communicates with each eye. When the eye exam is completed, Dr. McBryar will explain the diagnosis and will discuss treatment methods.
How is Lazy Eye Treated?
Dr. McBryar cartoon

Summary

We welcome you to call our office, (423) 710 3965, at Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga to schedule a consultation. Dr. McBryar and staff have lots of experience diagnosing and treating amblyopia. Patients with functional vision issues visit our clinic from all over Tennessee, and we are proud to be a leading provider of functional vision services for patients from Hixson, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley.

Testimonials


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.


Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.


Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!


Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!


Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!


Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!


Alice M.
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