TYPES OF AMBLYOPIA
There are many types of eye conditions which affect a person’s eye health, and Amblyopia is one of them. This condition occurs when one or both eyes fail to develop clear vision. In this blog, we will talk about the different types of Amblyopia, the difference between functional problems and fractional problems, the different symptoms of this eye condition and the latest improvements that are taking place in its treatment.
What is Amblyopia
Amblyopia is the medical term for the eye condition commonly called “Lazy Eye”, where the affected eye is not able to see 20/20 or just very well in general, often leaving one eye to see very clear and sharp, while the other eye sees everything very blurry. Amblyopia occurs when there is a lack of vision in one eye because that eye and the brain are not working together.
Types of Amblyopia
There are basically three types of Amblyopia conditions:
In this condition, usually one eye has 20/20 vision and sees every little detail with clear precision. However, the other eye is visually weak and requires a high prescription for treating eye conditions such as astigmatism and Hyperopia or far-sightedness. The brain begins using the functions of the normal eye while ignoring the other eye’s vision and this is how Refractive Amblyopia occurs.
You surely must have heard of the term “crossed eyes”. Well, the medical term for this condition, in which both eyes look at different places at the same time, is called Strabismic Amblyopia. When the brain continuously uses only one eye to see, and ignores the other eye because it is either turned down, up, in or out, Strabismic Amblyopia occurs.
When an eye problem such as corneal opacity or cataract affects a person at a young age, or the vision gradually starts reducing, Deprivation Amblyopia occurs. When this happens, the brain instinctively starts suppressing the image received by the affected eye. If this condition is not treated at the very beginning, the affected children are at the risk of developing poor vision as they grow up.
Functional problems v/s Physical problems
When eye problems occur due to a functional issue of the visual system, and not because of any physical problem, they are functional problems. Refractive Amblyopia and Strabismic Amblyopia are examples of functional problems. On the other hand, Deprivation Amblyopia is considered a physical problem because it occurs to a physical issue in the eye such as cataract or corneal opacity.
Symptoms of Amblyopia
There are a number of symptoms that present themselves in an individual affected by Amblyopia. Some of them are:
Binocular Vision Dysfunction can occur due to many factors, such as
- The eyes not appearing to working together
- An eye that is squinted or permanently in a semi-open state
- An eye that keeps on wandering outward or inward
- Poor depth perception in an eye
- Unnatural tilting of the head
Improvements in treatments
There are conventional and modern ways of treating Amblyopia. The conventional treatments include wearing prescription glasses along with wearing a patch on the good eye or the eye that sees clearly. Vision Therapy is a modern way of suitably addressing this condition, and when combined with patching, yields even better results. Vision therapy focusses the brain to effectively use both eyes for remedying Amblyopia and developing a binocular vision.