How is Lazy Eye Treated?

Lazy eye has been proven to be effectively treated using vision therapy, oftentimes combined with other methods such as providing the proper optical correction and patching the eye.

Amplify EyeCare Manhattan

What is a lazy eye?

Lazy eye is a condition, referred to medically as amblyopia, in which there is a lack of coordination between both eyes. This results in each eye receiving their own image and in order to compensate, the brain only has proper communication with one eye while shutting off the other eye, known as the ‘lazy eye’. The lazy eye cannot achieve clear vision, even with an optical correction.

Treatment

At Amplify EyeCare Manhattan every treatment plan is customized for the individual patient’s needs and visual skills, depending on the severity of the case and the cause for amblyopia. Lazy eye is treated with a few different methods, and often there is a combination of any of the following techniques to yield the most effective results:

  • Providing accurate optical correction 
  • Patching 
  • Vision therapy 
  • Virtual Reality 
  • Eye Drops
Treatment

Optical Correction

In order to achieve optimal vision, it is important that each eye has the appropriate optical correction to help achieve clear vision. Amblyopia is most commonly caused by a very high optical prescription in either one eye or both eyes and therefore it’s crucial that the patient receives an accurate prescription for glasses.

 

Patching

Patching used to be the main method for treating amblyopia, however now we are aware of certain disadvantages that come with this technique and therefore it is used in moderation and along with vision therapy. The patching method is when we close the strong eye, forcing the lazy eye to strengthen and stop depending on the good eye. Patching can be achieved using an eye patch or using a prescription eye drop called atropine which blurs the vision of the strong eye. The main challenges that patching presents will be discussed below and they are compliance and preventing the eyes from working together as a team.

  • Compliance: Compliance is an issue that often needs to be dealt with when it comes to patching. It’s important to understand a child’s resistance as we close up their good eye which they solely depend on for clear vision and then we expect them to perform tasks using the weak eye with poor vision. It is no surprise if the child does not want to comply. Due to the difficulty with compliance other methods of occlusion, or blurring the stronger eye, are sometimes used. These include virtual reality based games and activities and prescription eye drops.
  • Teamwork of the Eyes: Additionally, the purpose of treating a lazy eye is to strengthen and promote the teamwork of both eyes together, known as binocular vision. Ironically, it has been noted that patching forces the situation where the patient completely relies on only one eye as we have closed off the strong eye. When the patching treatment has been completed, there are patients who struggle to learn how to use both eyes together.

Understanding the challenges that patching presents, brings us to the advantages that vision therapy has to offer. Patching can be very effective, especially when it’s combined with vision therapy.

Vision Therapy

The purpose of vision therapy is to strengthen the entire visual system, which includes the brain and both eyes, ensuring that they are all functioning together properly as a team. Lazy eye is a condition that manifests when the visual system is not working together as a team, as the brain is suppressing the lazy eye and only working with the stronger eye. Vision therapy uses repeated exercises and activities to train the brain to communicate properly with both eyes. 

At Amplify EyeCare Manhattan each patient has an individualized vision therapy treatment plan based on their visual skills and needs. Vision therapy can be very effectively combined along with moderate patching of the strong eye. This encourages the weak eye to step up and function without relying on the stronger eye while still being supported with vision therapy. The repeated activities train the brain to work together with both eyes.

Common Questions

There are three causes of amblyopia: The most common cause is a high prescription of glasses in either both eyes or in just one eye (which causes a big difference between the prescription of both eyes). If an eye is wandering in or out, in any direction, it can cause amblyopia and this tends to be the most noticeable cause. If there is something physical blocking the eye, such as cataract or a droopy eyelid, it can cause amblyopia.
[mbv name="primary-doctor-name"] has lots of experience in performing comprehensive eye exams in order to gain a deep understanding of the patient’s visual system and how the eyes are working together. The eye exam will check how each eye sees on its own, as well as how the eyes see together. Depth perception and other various visual skills will be tested to determine how each eye is functioning and how the brain communicates with each eye. When the eye exam is completed, [mbv name="token-primary-doc-lastname"] will explain the diagnosis and will discuss treatment methods.
How is Lazy Eye Treated?
Dr. Wernick cartoon

Summary

We welcome you to call our office, (212) 752-6930, at Amplify EyeCare Manhattan to schedule a consultation. Dr. Wernick and staff have lots of experience diagnosing and treating amblyopia.

Testimonials


  • At Amplify with Dr Wernick I was seeking help for seemingly intractable, probably age-related dryness. I've seen other doctors about it, and that has been helpful, but what he explained to me about it and the careful way he answered all my questions gave me so much more of a clear understanding of what is going on (and is not) that I am more able to implement all his and others' recommendations than I was before. And he gave me additional resources for further follow-up. I am most grateful.


    Cynthia Norton

  • Wow! This is a great Eye Care medical facility. I was thoroughly examined by Dr. Pinkhasov for over 2 hours. She made sure to check my eyes for pretty much everything and patiently explained proper care for my eyes. They definitely know how to provide great care and treat their patients right. Now I know why they have such a great reputation and been around for so long.


    Steve Fay

  • Dr. Kavner is a gifted diagnostician and orthoptic therapist. He treated me several decades ago for a condition similar to dyslexia. I was having migraines five times per week. I worked with him for about a year and I experienced tremendous improvement (down to 3-4 per year) that has lasted.


    Mary K.

  • Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


    Peter G.

  • Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


    Kinkie F.

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