As an optometrist with Todd Harris and Associates in Michigan, Dr. Robert Deck performs eye examinations to assess for correction needs and potential disorders. Dr. Robert Deck of Michigan draws on an in-depth knowledge of amblyopia and other ocular abnormalities.
Colloquially known as lazy eye, amblyopia stands out as the most common cause of vision loss in childhood. It occurs when the brain learns to use one eye more than the other, which in turn leads to a lack of development in the nerve pathways between the brain and the less-used eye.
Amblyopia often develops secondary to a condition known as strabismus, which is characterized by the misalignment of one of the two eyes. Because the strabismic eye is rotated up, down, inward, or outward, the brain learns to disregard the signals from that eye.
Other cases of amblyopia develop when one eye is significantly more nearsighted or farsighted than the other. In these situations, known as refractive amblyopia, the brain often adapts by seeing clearly from the normal eye, and a diagnosis of amblyopia does not happen until the patient undergoes a vision test.
Similarly, children with cataracts or other vision disorders may develop a condition known as deprivation amblyopia, in which the eyes do not have enough practice seeing to develop strong connections. This may lead to long-term vision loss if not identified early in life.
In fact, amblyopia is in general significantly more treatable with early detection. Many children respond well to interventions such as eye patching or prescription lenses, which alter the balance between the eyes and force the brain to learn to use the lazy eye. In these cases, vision therapy can help the change to become permanent.