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Archive for June, 2012

A Lazy Eye Can Be Motivated Again

lazy eye or amblyopiaLazy eye is the name commonly used for the eye condition known as amblyopia. Amblyopia is a development disorder where one of the eyes fails to achieve normal vision focus and acuity. Lazy eye begins during infancy and early childhood (usually before the age of 6).

Causes of Amblyopia

A common cause of amblyopia is a condition called strabismus. Strabismus is the inability of both eyes to maintain proper alignment and work together. When focusing on an object, one eye will look directly at the object while the other eye drifts inward, outward, upward or downward. Due to the misalignment of the eyes and to avoid double vision, the brain eventually ignores the images from the wandering eye. This leads to the development of amblyopia in that eye.  This type of amblyopia is called strabismic amblyopia.

Another cause of amblyopia is dissimilar refractive errors in the eyes. Unlike strabismus, both of the eyes may be perfectly aligned, but one of the eyes may have significant farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism while the other eye does not. Like with strabismus, the brain will eventually ignore the blurred images from the eye with the highest degree of refractive error and rely entirely on the images from the other eye.  This leads to the development of a type of amblyopia called refractive amblyopia.

Treating a Lazy Eye     

The methods for treating amblyopia have a lot to do with the type of amplyopia. In some cases of refractive amblyopia, corrective lenses (eyeglasses or contacts) will restore normal vision. The lenses are specially ground with a prismatic effect, which helps draw the eye into better alignment.

The wearing of a patch over the dominate eye is frequently utilized to force and train the brain to accept input from the amblyopic eye. This develops the visual acuity of that eye.  The duration for wearing an eye patch varies. For some, the patch may be required a few hours each day for a period of weeks while for others, the patch may need to be worn all day long for a period of months. Given that amblyopia is a condition that typically affects young children, there are obviously challenges with getting a child to consistently wear a patch.

Vision therapy is also another important tool used to treat amblyopia. Vision therapy helps improve the alignment of the eyes and teaches the eyes to work together for clear vision.

Early Detection of Lazy Eye is Important

Treating amblyopia early leads to the best outcomes for restoring normal vision. The American Optometric Association recommends infants have an eye exam when they are 6 months old. Testing and detecting amblyopia is one of the reasons why an eye exam is suggested so early in life.

Learn more about quality eye care and eye wear from a company and a team of eye care professionals who have been providing a superior level of service for more than 35 years. Please visit www.shawneeoptical.com.

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Learn About Double Vision Double Vision

Double visionDouble vision, or diplopia, is exactly what the name suggests. It’s a condition that causes you to see two images of the same object. The duplicate images may be seen horizontally, vertically or diagonally in relation to one another.

It’s important to understand the basics about diplopia and what double vision may be telling you about your overall health.

Types of Double Vision

There are two types of double vision. Monocular diplopia is double vision that occurs in only one eye. The double vision will not subside when the other eye is covered. Binocular diplopia is double vision that is related to both eyes.  The double vision will stop when one of the eyes is covered.

Causes of Monocular Diplopia

Monocular diplopia can be caused by a variety of eye conditions including:

  1. Astigmatism:  An abnormal curvature of the front surface of the cornea.
  2. Dry Eye:  Insufficient tears are produced to lubricate the eye.
  3. Cataracts: The lens of the eye becomes cloudy and less transparent.
  4. Swelling of the Eyelid:  Swelling in the eyelid may assert pressure on the eye.
  5. Keratoconus: The cornea of the eye becomes thin and cone-shaped.
  6. Pterygium:  The mucous membrane that lines the whites of the eye and under surface of the eyelids (known as conjunctiva) becomes thick.
  7. Dislocated Lens: Ligaments that secure the lens in place are damaged or broken causing the lens to wiggle.

Causes of Binocular Diplopia

Typically, any problem affecting the muscles around the eye that control the direction of your vision (known as extraocular muscles) can lead to double vision. Conditions causing double vision may include:

  1. Diabetes:  This disease can affect the nerves that control movement of the extraocular muscles.
  2. Myasthenia Gravis:  A neuromuscular condition which causes muscles to weaken and tire easily.
  3. Graves’ Disease:  This disease causes the thyroid gland to become overactive and produce too many hormones. As a result, swelling may occur in the muscles that control eye movement.
  4. Strabismus:  This condition is commonly referred to as “cross eye” or “wandering eye”. It’s a condition where the eyes deviate or turn when looking at an object.
  5. Trauma to Eye Muscles:  The muscles that control eye movement can be damaged by some sort of trauma to your face such as being hit in the face with an object or a punch.    

 

Visit Your Eye Doctor

Double vision can be a signal for a variety of conditions outlined above and many other health problems not listed here. If you or a member of your family experience double vision, it’s important to see your eye doctor. Usually, the double vision can be treated by correcting or managing its cause.

Learn more about quality eye care and eye wear from a company and a team of eye care professionals who have been providing a superior level of service for more than 35 years. Please visit www.shawneeoptical.com.

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