Pediatric Ophthalmology Consultants

What is Amblyopia?

Your child has better vision in one eye than the other. One eye is visually “lazy”. This is called amblyopia. Amblyopia may occur because of poor alignment (one eye straight; the other eye deviated inward, outward, upward, or downward). Amblyopia may result from unequal farsightedness, unequal nearsightedness, astigmatism, or combination of those conditions.

Treatment and Goals

Treatment of amblyopia is designed to force use of the weaker eye by interfering in some way with the use of the stronger eye. This can be done several ways:

Cover the good eye (patching).
Blur the vision in the good eye with medication (Atropine).
Cover one eyeglass lens (occlusion).
Complications of Amblyopia Treatment

1. It is possible to make the stronger eye weak by excessive patching. Patching of the good eye can be overdone. For this reason the patching programs must be monitored.

Note: Alternate use of the eyes does not mean that the stronger eye has become the the weaker eye. In fact, this is the goal of patching in cases of misalignment.

2. Excoriation of the skin. Skin under the patch can become irritated. We will outline methods to minimize this.

3. The angle of strabismus sometimes increase as the brain is forced to accept the image from the weaker eye.

4. Reactions to medications used to blur vision. These are described in instructions given you with the medications used to blur the vision in the “good” eye.

American Academy of Ophthalmology

The Eye M.D Association


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