Amblyopia is a condition where the eye is anatomically normal but the vision is abnormal. This can be caused by refractive error (extreme farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism or a significant difference in eyes) that is not corrected early in life. Even if not corrected early in life, it is sometimes worthwhile to address the issue as an adult. Often we can help at any age.
A complete history and physical exam is necessary to diagnose amblyopia. Old records are useful as well as any information from parents, teachers, or other observers who have noted avisual difficulty in a child. Often the vision is good in one eye and it is difficult to uncover a deficit unless both eyes are examined individually. Simple tests can find evidence of amlyogenic conditions. Any child with abnormal vision screening test results or a risk factor for amblyopia should be seen by an ophthalmologist.
Non-drug therapy for patients with amblyopia may involve stimulating visual development in the amblyopic eye. Physical occlusion (eye patching) and correcting refractive errors associated with amblyopia can be the best first steps. Drug therapy may involve use of ophthalmic agents to deprive the healthy eye of visual input and force use of the amlyopic eye. Systemic agents for the treatment of amblopia are of little or no value.
An ophthalmologist is the best professional to manage amblyopia.
In addition to prevention, screening, diagnosis, and consultation for diagnosis, this activity addresses non-drug therapy, drug therapy, patient education, consultation for management, and follow-up.
Contact our office for innovative solutions for amblyopia.
Dr. David Malitz