The lazy eye is a common condition in children that is medically known as amblyopia. This eye condition occurs in early childhood and causes poorly developed vision in one eye. The brain tends to be more focused on one eye. As a result, the other eye (known as the lazy eye) remains insufficiently stimulated, and the nerve cells responsible for its vision do not mature well enough.
In amblyopia, it is important to understand that the defect lies in the nerve connecting the brain and the eye, and not in the eye.
The symptoms of amblyopia include:
• Wandering eye
• Poor depth perception
• Double vision
• Eyes not aligned properly
• Turning the head to one side while doing activities such as reading, writing or watching television.
Can this disorder happen in adults as well?
It is highly unlikely that an adult may develop a lazy eye. Rather, adults having a lazy eye are the ones who have had this condition since childhood and did not receive adequate treatment.
Exercises for amblyopia
Doctors may recommend certain eye exercises to help with improvement of the affected eye and to make it more active. Some of the commonly recommended exercises include the following:
This is one of the most commonly recommended exercises for improving the lazy eye. You simply have to place an eye patch over the dominant eye. This will force the lazy eye to do more workand will serve as an exercise for the lazy eye. This exercise can be done for long hours. It is recommended that a patch should be placed over the dominant eye for atleast 6 hours in a day.
Palming the Eye
Although not as effective as using an eye patch, you can also try palming the dominant eye. To increase the amount of work done by the lazy eye, try to engage in reading while palming the dominant eye. This will serve as a very good exercise. Do this exercise daily for half an hour, everyday. You can also try to read small print as this will further exert your lazy eye.
Yes, kids' games can be helpful as well. Both children and adults can make use of this exercise. Again, place an eye patch over your dominant eye and try to solve a puzzle, preferably a picture puzzle. Since this is a fun activity, it can be easily done for longer periods of time. Pictures tend to engage us more and using the lazy eye to solve picture puzzles will serve as a very good exercise. Video games can also help in improving the efficiency of the neurons connecting the brain and the eyes. Hence, engaging in these games for a short while with a patch over the dominant eye can also be helpful.
Following a Moving Object
This exercise needs the help of a partner. Simply ask your companion to stand 3-4 feet away from you and hold an object at your eye level. Now, ask the companion to move the object from left to right. Instruct them to do so slowly. Now, cover your dominant eye either using a patch or by palming and simply try to follow the movement of the object with your lazy eye. You can do this exercise 6-7 times daily.
These exercises can be very helpful in strengthening the muscles of the lazy eye. But the key to these exercises is consistency. You must do these exercises daily for at least a couple of weeks. After a month of doing these exercises, you can visit an eye specialist for medical assessment. In some cases, corrective lenses also prove helpful. In severe cases, surgery is seen as the final form of treatment.
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Written By -
Dr. Rachita Narsaria