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All about Amblyopia

All about Amblyopia photo

The definition of amblyopia can be described as a condition in which there is a visual impairment that cannot be corrected with lenses or glasses, impaired contrast sensitivity, and accommodative ability of one eye in the absence of visual impairment. The visually impaired eye is also called the lazy eye (amblyopia). The disease can lead to a loss of depth and spatial vision.

Functional, organic and hysterical types of amblyopia can be distinguished. Potentially, functional amblyopia should be easy to treat, but organic amblyopia in a large number of cases is irreversible. It is one of the most serious and dangerous diseases. Refractive amblyopia is quite common, which occurs in children as a result of ametropia not corrected in a timely manner by glasses, which impede the development of children's vision.  The fact is that it occurs in 2% of the world's population, both in children and adults. 

Symptoms of Amblyopia

At the first stages of development, amblyopia does not bring discomfort to the patient, so most do not know about its presence. The symptoms include:

  • Frequent occurrence of headaches, especially at night;
  • Fatigue after working with visual stress — working with a computer, documents, drawing, embroidery, painting;
  • Coordination problems — the appearance of awkward movements;
  • Squinting when looking at objects, television broadcasts, reading;
  • Consideration of objects with turns and tilts of the head;
  • Complaints of eye itching, redness, tearing;
  • Poor eye adaptation in different lighting conditions.

Often, amblyopia is diagnosed by chance, when a person undergoes a routine examination by an ophthalmologist. 

Cause of Amblyopia

Risk factors for developing amblyopia include strabismus before the age of 6–8 years, conditions that contribute to deprivation. Also, amblyopia of eye can be caused by the following factors:

  • prematurity;
  • low weight of the newborn;
  • retarded mental development;
  • cerebral paralysis;
  • retinopathy of prematurity;
  • burdened family history regarding the presence of diseases of the organs of vision.

Also, the risk of development of lazy eye disease such as strabismic amblyopia increases when the mother smokes during pregnancy, the use of drugs and alcohol.

Treatment of Amblyopia

Based on the type of disease, the ophthalmologist selects an individual tactics for the treatment of lazy eye syndrome:

  • physical training of the affected visual organ — a set of special exercises, the implementation of which allows you to return the eye to a physiologically normal position;
  • elimination of provoking strabismus;
  • correction of amblyopia with the help of medical optics — adequate selection of glasses, soft or hard contact lenses;
  • hardware impact, in order to restore not only the coordinated work of both eyes, but also full binocular vision.

Amblyopia in adults is treated with surgery, depending on the specific cause. If the diagnosed disease is the cause of the lazy eye pathology, it should be removed with a surgery for amblyopia — congenital cataract surgery or to correct ptosis.

So what is amblyopia and how to prevent it?

This is a reversible functional decrease in visual acuity below the level of the age norm, which arose as a result of impaired transmission and perception of an adequate image. Preventive examinations of young children prevent the development of the disease and allow early treatment. They should be performed at 2-4 months of age or when the child reaches the age of 6-7 years.

One of the most common myths is that glasses are forever. In many cases, with amblyopia, with proper management of the child, it is possible to save him from constant spectacle dependence. With high degrees of hyperopia or astigmatism, after the cure of amblyopia, it is possible to use excimer laser correction, which makes it possible to completely rid the child of glasses.

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