Lazy eyes suffered by children is a concern for the parents, especially because this problem may affect children’s visual ability. Untreated lazy eye problem may develop into worse visual problem, including blindness of the affected eye. Thus, when parents notice some symptoms of potential lazy eyes developed by their children, it is very crucial that they seek for sufficient information as early as possible, as immediate treatments are the key of minimizing unexpected effects of amblyopic eye brought from birth.
Diagnosing an amblyopic eye in infants
A child with amblyopia has a brain that shuts off power to one eye and uses only the other eye, so that the neglected eye remains ill-focused. Some infants are born with amblyopia, which is unfortunately, unseen and does not necessarily show any outward signs. Hence, it is almost impossible to notice amblyopia without performing thorough eye examination to suspected infants and children. However, in some cases, some symptoms and signs of this problem are quite visible, especially if parents pay careful attention to how the children employ their eyes in promoting visions.
Common noticeable symptoms of infant amblyopia
The easiest, simplest way to observe whether or not an infant may suffer from eye disorders is by examining their quality of visual ability. This can be done through some methods, and one of these methods is “asking” your babies’ eyes to follow any movements you make. In the age of four to six months, infants are able to perceive objects and listen to sounds quite well. Thus, you can try making movements with soundless objects or simply your hands to see whether or not the child’s eyes are able to follow every movement you made and whether or not the baby has a correct depth perception to the object. Infant’s inability to focus their visions on the objects may be a sign that they are might be suffering from amblyopic eye.
Lazy eye exercises for infants
As lazy eye is a leading cause of vision loss in children, early exercises and treatments may be helpful in decreasing the risks. Surgeries are researched to fix refractive errors and misaligned eyes that become the main causes of amblyopia in children and adults, while in fact, some exercises you can perform at home to your babies and toddlers may be equally helpful in improving their amblyopic eye and thus, minimizing the upcoming risks. These exercises also inhibit worsened lazy eye that may lead to vision loss in children as well as teenagers and adults.
Follow the hand exercises
This is a simple exercise that has been explained shortly above. This exercise for infants is quite effective not only in diagnosing a child’s exposure to lazy eye, but also in exercising the affected eye so that future vision loss can be inhibited. To do this exercise, hold soundless object in your hand and move it back and forth to gain the baby’s attention. Do it several times to promote better eye-focusing ability.
Eye patching is another common exercise that can be done to infants. However, this exercise is also harder and require more efforts, as applying patch to the eye is not easy and may trigger the baby to cry due to the resulted discomfort. Despite this, consistent eye patching exercises will force the eye with weaker visual ability to gain better focus. When the weaker eye is not covered with a patch, the brain is going to send optic signals only to the stronger eye, that it will inhibit the affected eye development. Eventually, this unused eye will undergo visual impairment which leads to visual loss when untreated. Making the infants wear this eye patching, although may make them feel uncomfortable, is quite effective in giving the weaker eye a chance to gain more optic signal from the brain, so that eye misalignment, for instance, can also be minimized.
Despite how useful this treatment can be, eye patching exercise in infants should not be performed for more than one hour, as this may give major discomfort for the patient. Seeing with a lazy eye is not easy and in young babies can be frustrating, so that it is important to take some intervals before continuing the exercise.