Strabismus and amblyopia are leading causes of vision problems in young children. Not only will these conditions affect eyesight, they also can affect self-image, and this makes them important issues to address as soon as they arise.
At Eye Centers of Florida, our experienced staff and access to the latest technology make us well-equipped to quickly diagnose and treat strabismus, amblyopia, and other, similar conditions to give children their best chance at developing proper eyesight.
What is Strabismus?
Strabismus is an eye condition that prevents a person from directing the sight in both eyes in the same direction at the same time. Rather than working “as a team”, the eyes will be out of sync and will move independently of one another. This condition is often referred to as “cross eye,” “wall eye,” or heterotropia.
Strabismus is a common condition in children that often develops by age 3. It’s estimated that up to five percent of all children have a degree of strabismus. Because the eyes are not aligned, it can interfere with binocular vision and depth perception. If untreated, the condition can lead to permanently reduced vision.
What Causes Strabismus?
There are six muscles that control each eye’s movement. These muscles usually work in unison, but if one eye’s muscles are weaker than the other, strabismus can occur.
Some of the risk factors for developing strabismus are:
- Family history
- Severe refractive errors
- Preexisting medical conditions
- Serious injuries
Strabismus Signs and Symptoms
Often the signs of strabismus can be easy for others to see. However, it’s possible to have strabismus that only an eyecare professional can detect.
Symptoms of strabismus include:
- Double vision
- Eye strain
- Lack of depth perception
- Lack of binocular vision
- Fatigue when reading
- Unstable vision
What is Amblyopia?
Amblyopia (also called “lazy eye”) is a condition caused by reduced vision of one eye in a way not correctable by eyewear. In amblyopia, the eye sends visual signals to the brain, but the brain isn’t able to fully process them.
When one eye isn’t communicating with the brain properly, the brain will favor the other eye. It’s very common in babies and children.
Amblyopia Signs and Symptoms
Much like strabismus, the signs of amblyopia can be easy for others to see. However, there are some cases where screening is essential to detect the condition.
Some of the symptoms of amblyopia include:
- Eyes that don’t move in tandem
- Poor depth perception
- Shutting one eye
- Head tilting
Amblyopia Treatment in Fort Myers
Treating amblyopia usually involves training the brain to pay attention to both eyes.
If detected early in children, amblyopia can sometimes be corrected with use of an eye patch on the dominant eye. If for some reason a child will not or cannot use an eye patch, atropine eye drops can be used to temporarily blur the vision of the dominant eye.
When droopy eyelids, cataracts, or strabismus is causing the condition, amblyopia surgery on the eye’s muscles can help spur proper eye development.
Can Strabismus and Amblyopia Be Prevented?
Early treatment of strabismus can reduce the chance of developing the related condition of amblyopia and depth perception problems. Many children can recover from amblyopia if they are treated in time. Amblyopia may be permanent if not treated within a critical period, usually before the age of seven.
Why Choose Eye Centers of Florida for Amblyopia and Strabismus Treatment?
The quicker strabismus and amblyopia are treated, the better chances a child has of developing proper eye function and sight. The team at Eye Centers of Florida has the experience, methods, and equipment needed to promptly treat these conditions and help children with their long-term eyesight.
Sometimes, you won’t see any obvious signs or symptoms of amblyopia or strabismus. Scheduling an eye exam at Eye Centers of Florida can help you ensure that your child’s vision is developing properly. Call (888) 393-2455 today to schedule an eye exam.