Amblyopia is not the last place among the most common problems with sight. According to statistics, in Europe and United States about 1% of people suffer from amblyopia. The disease begins in childhood and the sooner treatment starts, the better.
It is logical that the optimal functioning of a person is possible only with a constant and equivalent work of the two eyes simultaneously, rather than one at a time or in succession. However, it happens that one eye is not running at full its ability – or rather not transmit image information to the brain. As a result, this information is lost, and the brain ceases to perceive everything that the defective eye sees. This deviation of eye is called amblyopia. There are also cases such problems with both eyes, but these cases are quite rare.
Amblyopia in children may occur immediately after birth and may develop at the age of 3-7 years. An additional problem is that the child often does not realize that one of eyes is not working at full capacity, resulting precious time passes without treatment.
- Poor vision characteristic of an eye, or even two.
- Eyes closed during eyestrain, such as when reading a book or watching TV. In this case, the child usually cries, complains about eyes – it is the most obvious symptom.
- Difficulties perception peripheral sight.
The most common causes of amblyopia – congenital cataract in a child, clouding of the cornea, ptosis of the upper eyelid, strabismus, astigmatism. In principle, any difference in vision between the two eyes, which is not corrected and not treated, may cause amblyopia. That this difference did not arise, you need time to identify vision problems and consult an eye specialist.
Also, the risk of amblyopia increases in the presence of family heredity to the disease, low birth weight, premature birth, strabismus and myopia.
Doctors distinguish several types of this disease, we consider the most common:
- Refractive amblyopia – the most common type, also called optical. Optics of the eye is disturbed – eye refracts light rays differently. Astigmatism is caused by running and rapidly progressive hyperopia. Doctors usually prescribe wearing glasses or contact lenses. In children, the disease is treated very well, the main thing – don’t delay the start of treatment and don’t be ashamed to wear glasses.
- Deprivation amblyopia develops when cataracts or similar conditions “deprive” young children’s eyes of visual experience. If not treated very early, these children can have very poor vision. Sometimes this kind of amblyopia can affect both eyes.
- Strabismic amblyopia – the eye does not develop due to deviations from the point of fixation, it meets very rarely.
Parents need to be responsive to any problems with the child’s eyes, take children to annual inspections to the ophthalmologist. Upon detection of low vision, should see a doctor – amblyopia is detected very quickly by careful examination of the eye. Early diagnosis improves the success of treatment of amblyopia disease many times.
First of all, you must remember that amblyopia does not heal by itself and does not pass with age and on the contrary, it’s getting worse. In each case, ophthalmologists choose different ways to treat amblyopia. Let’s consider these methods in detail.
The first method – optical vision correction. Ophthalmologist prescribes glasses or contact lenses. Well-chosen glasses will stimulate the retina to transmit a clear image of what it saw in the brain, this push will hurt the eyes to the correct job. It is very difficult to get to wear glasses children under the age of 1 year, so it’s best to choose contact lenses for them. But sometimes, in addition to glasses and lenses, pleoptics requires – special correction optics of the eye.
The second method – surgery. This method is used for corneal opacities, congenital cataract, nystagmus. Typically, surgery for congenital cataract is held in the first few months of life. It is worth noting that the operation does not eliminate the amblyopia completely, but to lay the foundation for successful treatment in the future.
The third way – pleoptics. When the first two methods (or at least one of them) are applied, pleoptics is used, which includes the following methods:
- Occlusion (method blindfolded) – a method of increasing eye strain on the affected eye with dark overlay dressings on healthy eye. You need to get to work sick eye. For this special occluders designed: made of plastic, which are mounted directly on the eyeglass frame and rubber suction cup – mounted on glasses. Makeshift bandage can be applied from a fabric or rubber and paper. Operation time of occluders is determined by an ophthalmologist, usually a few hours every day for 6 months, but sometimes longer. Permanent occlusion can be assigned at a strabismus.
- Penalization – the use of eye drops, which dilates the pupil. This method is used when the complexity of using occlusion.
- Stimulating the work of the retina – photic stimulation, electrical stimulation of the eyes, special computer programs.
- The visual therapy at home – more drawing and games on vision care, for example, designers, coloring books, puzzles, hide and seek.
Pleoptics is applied several times a year. It is very important do not stop the exercise in achieving progress in the treatment of amblyopia, hoping that everything will continue formed. Amblyopia often returns after treatment. Therefore it’s constantly necessary to check visual acuity until the moment of complete restoration of the eyes and eliminate other problems with sight.