Treatment For Lazy Eye / Amblyopia In Huntington, Long Island
What Is Amblyopia?
Vision Therapy Center At Long Island Vision Care offers vision therapy to effectively treat amblyopia (lazy eye) in children and adults alike, using the latest, proven methods of neuro-optometric therapy and developmental optometry—generally referred to as Vision Therapy. Amblyopia, commonly referred to as “lazy eye”, is a condition where the brain and eyes are not functioning together in unison the way they should. This results in a loss of vision and a significant difference in power between the eyes.
Amblyopia Generally Begins At Birth
Amblyopia generally begins at birth or in early childhood. Since amblyopia doesn’t have any obvious symptoms, it can go unnoticed for years—while the situation deteriorates. Parents and health care professionals are not always aware that there is a problem until the amblyopia is well-established. It takes an experienced and highly-trained developmental optometrist to diagnose amblyopia early-on, and the earlier the diagnosis, the more effectively amblyopia can be treated using Vision Therapy.
Amblyopia Is Often Confused With Strabismus
Amblyopia is often confused with Strabismus (eye-turns), which is further complicated by the fact that amblyopia can be strabismic, although that isn’t always the case. If a person has amblyopia, one eye or the other is deemed weaker by the brain, so it stops processing as much visual information from the weaker eye in order to compensate for the more powerful eye. Sometimes both eyes fail to develop a clear vision. This imbalance or general lack of power in the eyes is called amblyopia.
Amblyopia Leads To Poor Visual Acuity
Amblyopia can cause poor visual acuity, weak eye coordination and poor depth perception. This can result in clumsiness, tripping or knocking into things, and may also lead to difficulties with reading and learning.
Amblyopia Symptoms and Resulting Problems
The common misconception is that amblyopia or lazy eye is always accompanied by a visible misalignment of the eyes. The condition of eyes being misaligned is called strabismus, also called a wandering eye and can often be the cause of the amblyopia. However, amblyopia doesn’t always coincide with strabismus. It is often difficult to detect amblyopia without a proper eye examination.
Amblyopia Often Results In The Following Problems
- Reading and learning problems
- Severe lack of vision in one eye
- Strabismus with exotropia (eye turns to the outside)
- Strabismus with esotropia (eye turns to the inside)
- Double vision
- Cloudy vision in one eye
- Eyes that appear to not work together
- Poor depth perception
- Squinting or shutting an eye
- Head tilting
- Abnormal results of vision screening tests
- Poor depth perception
- Problems with contrast and visual acuity
- Difficulty focusing or maintaining physical focus
- Attention problems associated with ADD/ADHD
What Causes Amblyopia?
Amblyopia is usually caused by at least one of the following three conditions:
Strabismus, wandering eye, or eye turns, where the eyes fail to align either vertically or horizontally. This is referred to as strabismic amblyopia.. Refractive issues such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and distortions caused by astigmatism.. Congenital Cataracts
Strabismus is also called Crossed Eyes, Wandering Eyes, or Wall Eye. It is the inability to point both eyes in the same direction.
- Esotropia: one eye may turn in relative to the other
- Exotropia: one eye turns out relative to the other.
- Hypertropia: one eye turns up relative to the other
- Hypotropia: one eye turns up relative to the other
The eye turn may occur constantly or only intermittently. If it is constant, that means that it occurs all or much of the time. Intermittent means that it occurs only some of the time, such as only when a person is tired or has done a lot of reading.
It may alternate, which means that at times one eye turns while at other times, it is the other eye that turns.
Strabismus may cause double vision (diplopia). In order to avoid seeing double, vision in one eye may be ignored (suppressed).
If this occurs from birth or soon after, then the ignored eye does not develop the “wiring” or signal to the brain, and this ends up causing a lazy eye (amblyopia). Amblyopia (lazy eye) can occur even if the eyes are pointing straight.
Strabismus is treated by a combination of special eyeglasses, prisms, surgery, or Vision Therapy. The right treatment depends on the cause of the strabismus. Surgery often makes the eyes appear straight, but the visual system is still not balanced between the eyes. Most of the time, lasting and effective treatment for strabismus requires Vision Therapy.
Bilateral & Unilateral Amblyopia
Bilateral Amblyopia ― amblyopia in both channels/eyes ―occurs when the power (prescription) in both eyes is very high.
It's important to correct amblyopia as early as possible before the brain ignores vision in the affected eye. However, amblyopia IS treatable in adults as well. The brain is remarkably plastic, and this plasticity allows for Vision Therapy to be effective even when treating adults with Amblyopia.
Congenital cataracts are opaque or cloudy coverings which distort vision (cataracts)— they are present from the time of birth. The severity of congenital cataracts can vary from minor to full visual impairment and can occur in one eye (unilateral) or both eyes (bilateral). This condition is usually caused by genetic preconditions and/or metabolic disorders. Congenital cataracts can result in amblyopia, which can persist even after the cataracts are removed.
Vision Therapy For Amblyopia
How Does Vision Therapy Treat Amblyopia?
Vision therapy improves the patient’s visual acuity, binocular vision, visual processing abilities, reading fluency and depth perception.
This evidence-based program consists of individually prescribed and monitored exercises aimed at developing visual skills and visual processing, made up of regular in-office appointments and (often) a series of assigned at-home daily exercises. The length of the program can range from several weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the diagnosis and patient compliance.
Retrain Your Neuro-Visual System
Vision therapy is a customized series of exercises and techniques which retrain the neuro-visual system —the interplay between the brain and the eyes. This treatment can include the use of computer programs, games, and various non-digital exercises. As a result, the brain relearns how to properly and effectively operate and interact with the eyes. The vision therapy program can last from as little as 6 months to one year, and is regularly adjusted, based on the progress of the individual patient.
Amblyopia Treatment for Adults
Vision therapy effectively treats amblyopia in both adults and children. Because vision therapy relies on the neuroplasticity of the brain, and adults generally have less neuroplasticity than children, this treatment method may take longer in the older demographic. The flip side is that adults tend to comply with the exercise regimen more consistently. Regardless of age, patients can and do obtain radical improvements in vision and binocular function through effective vision therapy.
Vision Therapy Exercises and Equipment for Amblyopia
Vision therapy makes use of lenses, prisms, filters, patches and other specialized equipment. Eye patching is referred to as passive vision therapy, which has been shown to less effective than active therapy. Active therapy uses exercises to retrain how the brain interacts with the eyes and interprets visual inputs. Over the past few years, advanced digital therapies (including virtual reality devices) have turned traditional vision therapy activities into new, interactive and exciting exercises to improve accommodation (focusing), fixation, saccades, pursuits (eye-tracking) and spatial skills (eye-hand coordination).
At Vision Therapy Center At Long Island Vision Care, our vision therapists treat amblyopia with proven office-based vision therapy for optimal results. All of our sessions are one-on-one (therapist-to-patient), and are conducted under [eye-doctor] supervision. We help patients develop their binocular vision and depth perception by making use of the latest technology and methods, thus ensuring that the treatment is effective yet enjoyable. Our personalized vision therapy program is designed for people of all ages.
Speak To Our Developmental Optometrists
Speak to us at Long Island Vision and Contact Lens Services serving Huntington, Lake Grove , Hicksville, and Brentwood. Our staff will be happy to walk you through the process and book your first appointment.
While they have been treating amblyopia for years, the eye doctors are still conducting research to improve upon the current knowledge. The amblyopia project keeps track of many of the articles that publish the results, these can be found below:
Research on Vision Therapy and Treatment for Amblyopia For Children and Adults
The below link is a study they did on amblyopia and binocular vision.
The below link is about treating amblyopia using binocular iPad treatment.
The below link is about amblyopia and the role of suppression.
The below link is about amblyopia and the quality of life.
The below link is about the treatment history of amblyopia.
A study of two adult patients whose amblyopia was improved when they're good eye became cataractous.
Improved basic representation using perceptual learning in adults with amblyopia.
Improving positional Acuity with practice in adults with amblyopia.
Restoration and treatment of underdeveloped cortical functions in adults with amblyopia.
Adult amblyopia and the prolonged perceptual learning of Positional acuity.
Adult Amblyopia: Pattern of Learned Visual Improvement.
Adult amblyopia binary home-based treatment using an iPod.
Improving amblyopic vision in adults through rule-based cognitive compensation using perceptual learning.
Structure, plasticity, and suppression in adults with amblyopia.
Many new scientific studies show that therapy in patients with amblyopia successfully improve eyesight.