Amblyopia, commonly known as “lazy eye,” is a vision disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by reduced vision in one or both eyes. It occurs due to the brain’s inability to process visual information correctly. In this blog post, we will discuss different types of amblyopia.
What is Amblyopia?
Amblyopia or Lazy Eye is a disorder that practically never arises on its own. It is a disorder which is triggered by an underlying pathology that defines the type of amblyopia. Whilst the impairment of visual function as well as amblyopia treatment may be similar regardless of amblyopia type, it is important to differentiate them so that each type can be addressed as effectively as possible.
Anisometropic (Refractive) Amblyopia
Causes of Refractive Lazy Eye
This type of amblyopia arises due to unrecognized refractive differences between the two eyes – anisometropia. It is arguably the most frequent type of amblyopia and unfortunately, the hardest one to recognize, as the eyes of children with anisometropia appear perfectly normal to the naked eye.
Refractive errors include conditions like nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or astigmatism.
With a notable difference in refractive power between the two eyes, one retina gets a much clearer image than the other. The brain may favor the eye with better focus, which leads to the development of amblyopia in the eye with the lesser image quality.
Treatment of Refractive Lazy Eye
Thankfully, the treatment is usually simple and effective. Some children will respond to correct refractive correction alone, others will benefit from the addition of patching, penalization and/or vision training.
As prevalent as the anisometropic type, this type of amblyopia arises due to misalignment of the two eyes – strabismus.
Causes of Strabismic Lazy Eye
Strabismus causes the eyes to point in different directions, leading to a lack of coordination between them. As a result, the brain receives conflicting visual inputs and may suppress or ignore the signals from one eye, causing amblyopia.
Treatment of Strabismic Lazy Eye
Reasons that cause the eyes to deviate vary and a strabismus specific treatment such as specialized prism glasses or surgery is often needed to address the issue thoroughly. Whether the amblyopia specific treatment should be initiated before, during, or after managing the cause of strabismus is usually decided on an individual basis.
Although different types of amblyopia are treated differently – according to the cause – any type of amblyopia can benefit immensely from vision training such as AmblyoPlay. In light of the current situation due to COVID-19 pandemics, it is now perhaps an ideal time to start using our product from the safety of your own home.
This is arguably the rarest and most severe form of amblyopia. It arises when visual axis is obstructed early in the development of vision – usually within the first months on one’s life. In other words, vision is obstructed or deprived during the critical period of visual development.
Causes of Deprivation Lazy Eye
Various causes include ptosis, corneal opacities, and congenital cataract.
Treatment of Deprivation Lazy Eye
The treatment depends on the underlying cause (ptosis correction, cataract extraction, etc.) and must be initiated early in order to prevent permanent impairment of vision. However, if the deprivation occurs beyond the critical period, treatment may be less effective in restoring normal vision.
Understanding the different types of amblyopia and their causes is crucial for early detection and appropriate treatment. Whether it is refractive, strabismic or deprivation, a combination of corrective measures, including eyeglasses, vision therapy, eye patching, or surgical interventions, can help improve vision and alleviate the effects of amblyopia.
P.S.: If you are not completely new to our website you will know that much of today’s blog’s topic has already been discussed extensively in some of our past contributions. Should you be interested to find out more about every particular matter please follow the links provided in the text.
Frequently Asked Questions
Amblyopia, commonly known as “lazy eye,” is a vision disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by reduced vision in one or both eyes. It occurs due to the brain’s inability to process visual information correctly.
We can divide it into three groups: anisometropic (refractive), strabismic, and deprivation amblyopia.
Yes. One of the treatment approaches includes vision therapy, and AmblyoPlay was developed to treat lazy eyes. Learn more about AmblyoPlay vision therapy here.