The term amblyopia, which comes from the union of the “weak” and greek words “eye”, means the loss of the ability to clearly see through one eye. To see the world around us, it is necessary that your eyes and brain work together. Light gets in the eye through two natural lens of the cornea and lens, focusing on the retina, a thin layer lining the back of the eyeball, which is where the cells are capable of capturing the light, forms and colours, and sends the information to the brain via the optic nerve. When there are important differences of view between one eye and the other, the brain receives two different images. Then, not to be confused, “choose” one, sharper, ignoring the other. This makes the bum eye becomes less and less useful.

Amblyopia is a common vision problem in the early years of life, when developing the visual system (0 to 10 years), which affects between 3 and 5% of the child population.

What causes amblyopia?

 

– Squint. Those who have this vision problem can move both eyes inward (esotropia), outward (exotropia) or uncoordinated. Strabismus is the most common cause of amblyopia and a visual anomaly that usually has a genetic basis.

– Childhood Cataracts. It occurs when the baby is born with the cloudy lens in one eye.

– Refractive Errors. If the child has nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, especially if it is greater in one eye than the other, can also develop amblyopia.

 

The importance of revisions

 

It is recommended that children take their first visual review at six months and if the doctor does not determine anything, then do visual checks annually. If your parents or other adults nearby environment appreciate visual problems as squint or uncoordinated eyes, poor vision of near or far, inability to judge depth, headaches, dizziness, etc., you will be lead to visit the specialist sooner.

– Did you know that most child vision problems are detected before age 3 can be solved ?, and 40% of children aged 2 to 10 years have never visited the ophthalmologist? You do not stop taking your child to check the view!

Usually, the bum eye is detected with a comprehensive eye exam, without need for special tests.

 

Why is so important to correct Amblyopia?

 

The 80% of the information that we receive reaches the brain through the eyes. In the early years of life it is when the person acquires more knowledge. Have a significant visual impairment uncorrected in childhood may reflect a delay in learning.

The British Association of Opticians-Optometrists report that one in four school-age children suffer from some vision problems that are undiagnosed. According to that data, about 30% of school failure is related to visual anomalies. Therefore, discover and treat amblyopia, or bum eye as soon as possible is very important.

 

Treatment

 

Once amblyopia and degree have been diagnosed, the eye care professional will determine how to proceed: patches, bespectacled, through visual exercises or, in more severe cases, by surgery.

The first will be to decide how to solve visual anomalies such as cataracts or strabismus, and refractive errors such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, for example.

Generally, the child should wear glasses and, if appropriate, also a patch or atropine drops; The purpose of both methods is difficult the eye vision from the better one.  Thus, the part of the brain that handles vision is developed completely.

 

The sooner the better

 

The visual system develops in early life (approximately up to 9 years). At this stage complicated connections between the brain and the eye are created. Children receiving treatment for bum eye before 5-7 years usually solve this problem completely. Not take action to solve amblyopia can lead to permanent vision problems to the person.

Some studies show that adolescents treated amblyopia can bring significant benefits, so age should not be a big point whether or not to treat a child with amblyopia factor.

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