Lazy eye or amblyopia is a condition in which one eye fails to develop clear vision. It is often caused by irregular visual development in childhood, usually between the ages of 6 and 9 years. One such cause is strabismus (crossed eyes), a neuromuscular abnormality that results in one eye deviating inward, outward, upward, or downward, while the other eye remains focused.
The condition arises because the brain favours the healthy eye and suppresses or shuts down the weaker eye. The effects of lazy eye include squinting, blurred or double vision, poor eye-hand coordination, and impaired depth perception.
Lazy eye can also occur in adults with other factors such as refractive errors, cataract, eye trauma, and stroke, contributing to it.
Lazy Eye Treatment
Treatment for lazy eye include vision therapy, the use of an eye patch, eye drops, corrective lenses and eye surgery.
This consists of neurosensory and neuromuscular activities to develop, restore, and enhance visual processing in the weaker eye. This in-office therapy is overseen and monitored by the doctor.
This involves covering the stronger eye with an eye patch for a certain number of hours daily which forces the amblyopic eye to strengthen its movement and focusing abilities.
An alternative to using an eye patch is to use atropine eye drops to relax the focusing muscles of the stronger eye which blurs its vision. Using atropine eye drops however may have side effects such as sensitivity to light and issues with close vision.
Spectacles and contact lenses may be prescribed to correct refractive errors if present.
If the cause of lazy eye is strabismus, an out-patient procedure may be performed to repair the eye muscles responsible for the crossed eyes. If it is due to a significant difference in refractive error between both eyes, e.g., myopia, a laser-assisted procedure may be performed.
Pterygium is a fleshy growth made of fibrovascular tissue that grows over the cornea. It happens a lot in countries near the equator, like Singapore. It is a harmless condition, but it can cause astigmatism or progressive encroachment over the visual axis, which can make it harder to see. It may also make the eyes repeatedly red and irritated.
The goal of pterygium surgery is to remove the pterygium and stop it from getting bigger and making it harder to see. The surgery also helps to get rid of the redness and makes the eye look cosmetically better.
During the surgery, the pterygium is surgically removed, and a conjunctival graft is placed over the site of excision to prevent it from coming back. The conjunctival graft is taken from the area under the upper eyelid (bulbar conjunctiva) and stitched or glued over the place where the pterygium used to be. This is done as an out-patient procedure, so you do not have to stay in the hospital.