Amblyopia, more commonly known as lazy eye, is a condition that causes blurry vision, headaches, and reduced clarity due to either misalignment or a lack of control. According to the National Eye Institute, about 3 percent of US children have some degree of amblyopia. Many people are surprised to find that lazy eye isn’t only isolated to children; it can actually develop during adulthood.
What Causes Lazy Eye?
- Deprivation Amblyopia – This is the most severe form of Lazy Eye. It is often caused by another condition depriving the eye of clear visual signals. This includes things like cataracts or blindness. Deprivation is the most common cause of blindness in those diagnosed with amblyopia.
- Muscle Weakness – Muscle weakness, or strabismus, is the most common cause of Lazy Eye. This is usually due to an imbalance in muscle position. The result is poor tracking and coordination between the eyes.
- Refractive Imperfection – If you wear glasses or contacts you know how difficult it is to see with the wrong prescription. This is usually harmless, but large differences over extended periods of time can cause refractive amblyopia.
Vision Therapy for Lazy Eye
While amblyopia affects children primarily, it is treatable at any age. Here at Accent Eyes we specialize in a treatment method called vision therapy, where we employ a structured program of exercises to reduce the effects of Lazy Eye. These exercises focus on improving visual acuity and coordination. The best part is most of these lazy eye exercises can be done at home! Here are a few that we recommend; remember to cover the stronger eye for the best results:
- Reading is a great pastime that will help your brain with more than just visual coordination.
- What kid doesn’t like to color? Staying inside the lines will help you improve your hand-eye coordination.
- Puzzles of all kinds can improve your attention to detail and short term visual memory.
- Video games are a fun way to stretch your problem solving muscles and hand-eye coordination. Just make sure you take short breaks every 20 minutes and don’t sit too close to the TV to avoid unnecessary stress.
- The visual therapy community has created countless YouTube videos to help you exercise your acuity, pattern recognition, and focus.