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 fibrovascular fleshy growth that grows progressively over the cornea. It is relatively common in countries in around the equatorial belt, which includes Singapore. It is a benign condition but it may cause deterioration of vision due to astigmatism or progressive encroachment over the visual axis. It may also cause recurrent redness and irritation of the eye.
Pterygium surgery aims to remove the pterygium and helps to prevent visual deterioration from progressive growth of the pterygium. The surgery also helps to reduce the redness and improves the cosmetic appearance of the eye.
Pterygium surgery is a procedure in which the pterygium is surgically removed and a conjunctival graft is placed over the site of excision to prevent recurrence after surgery. The conjunctival graft is harvested from the area underneath the upper lid of the eye (bulbar conjunctiva), and is either stitched or glued in place over the previous site of the pterygium. This is performed as a day surgery procedure; hospitalisation is not required.