Approximately 2% of American children have amblyopia and 3-5% have strabismus.
Strabismus is the medical term for crossed eyes which occurs when the eyes are not aligned. One or both of the eyes could be turned inwards, outwards, upwards or downwards and both eyes are not focused on the same target. It is common for this to occur when a person is very farsighted or has poor eye muscle control. The wandering eye may be a constant phenomenon or it manifests when the person is tired, ill or has done a lot of viewing up close such as reading. If left untreated, strabismus could get worse.
It is important to keep in mind that while strabismus may be noticeable in large angle strabismus, it could also easily be missed if it's intermittent, alternating or a small angle strabismus.
There are different treatment options, depending on the cause and diagnosis. Sometimes one or more methods are used for the same patient:
Often these methods of treatment will suffice, but there are cases where eye muscle surgery will be recommended. It is advisable to first try the non-invasive treatment techniques above before deciding if to operate.
Lazy eye, known medically as amblyopia, is the main cause of loss of vision in children in one eye. Amblyopia is a condition that occurs when the eyes are not working together properly as a team along with the brain. Each eye receives its own image which is not coordinated with the other. So in order to cope, the brain shuts off communication with one eye, nicknamed the ‘lazy eye’ by suppressing it. Clear vision is achieved by the other, stronger eye as the lazy eye cannot achieve 20/20 vision, even with an optical correction.
Some children are more prone to developing a lazy eye. The risk factors include:
Scientific studies have proven that eye patching alone is no longer the recommended method of treating a lazy eye.
The following methods of treatment are generally offered, sometimes just one method will suffice, while other cases require a combination of various treatment methods:
Amblyopia and strabismus are at times connected, but they are not the same condition.