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Early Detection of Amblyopia and Your Child's Vision

Early detection and treatment of amblyopia, sometimes called ‘lazy eye’, is essential for a child’s long-term vision health. Each location of Westchester Eyecare Center has an optometrist in Los Angeles CA who encourages you to bring your children in for an eye exam before they begin school to ensure they are best prepared for a lifetime of learning.

Boy with Amblyopia needs treatment.

What Is Amblyopia?

This condition occurs when one of a child’s eyes doesn’t develop as it should. If Amblyopia is not treated early, a child’s brain learns to ignore images received by that eye. When left untreated this can cause permanent vision impairment.

What Causes Amblyopia?

When a child’s brain receives one clear image and one blurry one, her brain learns to ignore the blurry one. If allowed to go unchecked the eye with blurry vision will get progressively worse.

Sometimes lazy eye is caused by something as simple as a small cataract or foreign object. This can usually correct the same day it is diagnosed.

How Is Amblyopia Diagnosed?

Your child’s school or optometrist checks for Amblyopia making sure that:

  • Both eyes see equally well.
  • Each eye moves like it should.
  • Nothing blocks the light coming into their eyes.

If you have a family history of amblyopia your child is more likely to have this condition so early testing is important. It is important to understand that this not a condition you can detect simply by looking at your child.

How Is It Treated?

The most common course of action is to force a child’s brain to begin using the weak eye. Often times your optometrist will detect underlying problems like farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism and corrective lenses or contacts are prescribed.

If a cataract is blocking light from her eye, we may recommend surgery to remove it.

Generally, children are given a patch to wear over their strong eye. This worn until a scheduled follow up so the optometrist can determine if the weak eye has strengthened.

If strabismus is preventing the eyes from moving together as they should, surgery on the eye muscles is sometimes recommended.

Is Treatment Usually Successful?

Most children gain normal vision with early diagnosis and treatment. Amblyopia is much more difficult to treat after about nine years of age, so it is very important your child gets early eye exams.

You can reach one of our many locations for an optometrist in Los Angeles CA by calling us at (310) 670-1888.

Westchester Eyecare Center proudly serves Silicon Beach, Playa Vista, Playa Del Ray, Westchester, Marina Del Rey, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Inglewood, and Surrounding Areas.