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Paediatric Examination

Lazy eye or Amblyopia

Amblyopia is a disorder of the visual system resulting in poor vision in an otherwise physically normal eye. The problem is caused by reduced amount or reduced quality of visual information reaching the brain during a child’s developing years. This condition is sometimes known as ‘lazy eye’.

Causes

  1. Occlusion: such as a cataract.
  2. Strabismic: when the eyes are not aligned the majority of the day.
  3. Refractive: the eyes are out of focus with each other or beyond what is normal in childhood.

Treatment

Amblyopia must be treated when the brain is still developing. It involves reversing the cause where possible and may include glasses. Additionally, occlusion therapy in the form of patching the good eye or alternately blurring the good eye with drops has been proven to reverse amblyopia. For maximum effect this treatment needs to be given in the earlier years of childhood. The amount of patching depends on the level of amblyopia and the age of the child.

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