One of many reasons why infants/ children/adults should have a comprehensive eye exam with a Developmental Optometrist is the possibility of Amblyopia.
Amblyopia (often misnamed "lazy eye"), is a condition where one eye does not see nearly as well as the other. This condition is not correctable by glasses or contact lenses. Amblyopia is not due to any eye disease. The brain does not fully acknowledge the images seen by the Amblyopic eye. The favored eye compensates for the Amblyopic eye so the child/adult may not be aware of the problem. This may lead to other dysfunctions such as poor depth perception (3D).
An infant/child can look perfectly normal, even if one eye has amblyopia. Treatment is often delayed because the parents think that the child is fine and that there is no reason to see a Developmental Optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam. As a consequence, the child or adult may be more difficult to treat and correct in later stages.
Causes of Amblyopia
Anything that interferes with clear vision in either eye during the critical period (birth to 6 years of age) can cause Amblyopia. Listed below are reasons why Amblyopia can develop in childhood:
Treatment of Amblyopia
Early treatment is usually simple, often employing glasses and Vision Therapy. Prolonged eye patching is usually not a part of Amblyopia treatment at our office. While detection and correction before the age of two is considered to offer the best outcomes, recent scientific research has disproven the long held belief those children over seven years old cannot be successfully treated. For more information, see the press release at National Institutes of Health.
"We received a letter from the school stating that Priyanka's left eye was 20/50. We brought her to Dr. Colin Kageyama as we realized that LAZY LEFT EYE runs in my family and we wanted to make sure that she didn't have it, but SHE DID.
It was a shock that Priyanka could not see well with the left eye - suddenly the changes came along. We were worried that she would have trouble seeing 3D and also later in life with driving.
With commitment for the vision therapy classes, exercises at home and hope... we have seen a remarkable change - she can read everything and definitely has fewer temper tantrums.
We were amazed that her left eye was +3.75 and it fell in six months instead of two years to a 20/15 vision. We are grateful to Dr. Kageyama, Valerie, and Liz. Thank you for giving back her eyesight and she does not need glasses."