As parents, we want nothing but the best for our kids, especially when it comes to health issues that may affect them in the future. Their vision is no exception.
What is Lazy Eye?
Lazy eye is a term we probably have heard before, but a lot of parents do not really know what the condition actually is.
Also known as amblyopia, lazy eye is a condition where there is a lack of focus in one of the eyes. This occurs when one of the eyes is able to perceive the light entering our eyes and send that information to the brain stronger than the other. If left untreated, the brain will be over reliant on the stronger eye to “see”, neglecting the weaker signals from the weaker eye. This will have a huge impact on your child’s vision in the lazy eye, and will usually render the condition permanent if not treated at a young age.
3% of the world’s children population suffers from lazy eye, the most common visual impairment amongst children. There are many possible causes of lazy eye, one of them being strabismus, also known as squinting.
A squint is when the eyes do not look together in the same direction due to imbalances in the eye muscles that control how the eyes move and turn.
Indications of Lazy Eye
Symptoms of lazy eye can often go unnoticeable since a child’s vision is not affected straight away. However, there are things you can watch out for to identify the problem sooner.
Look at your child when he or she is focusing on something. Does one of the eyes tend to wander while the other remain focused on the object? Do they seem to be working independently of each other?
To be sure, assess your child’s perception of depth. Perceiving depth requires both eyes to be able to work together in order to judge distance. What you can do is to hold an object in front of your child at his or her arm’s length. Beckon him or her to reach out for it without moving away from his or her spot. If he or she seems to be fumbling mid-air to catch it, this could be an indicator of depth perception issue and lazy eye.
Have your child’s eye assessed by an optician regularly so as to nip it in the bud. Prompt diagnosis ensures that the lazy eye can be dealt with before it causes long-term impairment to vision.