Cooper Eye Care (Manhattan)
212-758-0772
Cooper Panariello Eye Institute (Brooklyn)
718-265-2020

Amblyopia

What is Amblyopia?

According to the National Eye Institute, amblyopia affects as many as 3% of children. Left untreated, the condition can continue into adulthood.

Commonly called “lazy eye,” amblyopia is a type of vision impairment that occurs when your eye and brain are not properly working together. The affected eye is healthy and otherwise normal, but your brain seems to “prefer” working with the other eye.

It’s also possible to have amblyopia in both eyes, which results in your eyes both turning too far inward or outward. It’s important to note that many kids aren’t aware they have amblyopia because their unaffected eye can sustain the acceptable vision. Routine eye examinations can detect amblyopia even if there is no clear indication of eye misalignment.  

Why Does Amblyopia Lead to Vision Problems?

If you or your child has a form of amblyopia, the problem isn’t with the affected eye(s) but with the eye/brain interaction. Researchers believe that amblyopia is rooted in a developmental problem in the optic nerve. Correcting or improving that communication can resolve vision issues.

What are the Treatment Options for Amblyopia?

Treatment has the greatest chance of success when it begins at an early age, although studies show that teenagers and young adults also respond well to treatment efforts. Prescription eyeglasses are one way to address vision issues. In order for glasses to yield the best possible results, they must be worn during all waking hours, which can be a challenge for some young kids.

Using a patch to cover the properly functioning eye is another option. This approach works by effectively “forcing” the brain to communicate with the affected eye. Vision improvements are possible, but patching alone won’t change the orientation of the eye. Atropine eye drops can help by blurring vision in the unaffected eye, leaving the other eye to handle most visual tasks.

Surgery is an option for correcting the appearance of amblyopia, but won’t correct vision problems. Combined with other treatments like vision therapy, surgery can be a powerful tool in restoring optimal appearance and function.

If you or your child has amblyopia, schedule a consultation online or by calling Cooper Eye Care to discuss available treatment options. Correcting this condition can have a positive benefit for both vision and self-esteem.

Cooper Eye Care (Manhattan)
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Cooper Panariello Eye Institute (Brooklyn)
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The team of doctors at Cooper Eye Care in the New York City, with offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn serving the surrounding areas of Upper East Side and Dyker Heights, are friendly, professional, and focused on care.

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