Strabismus is a condition that can lead to amblyopia. Amblyopia can be helped by wearing an eye patch, but with strabismus, the treatment is somewhat different.
It’s important to realize that strabismus and amblyopia are not the same thing, though strabismus can lead to amblyopia. If amblyopia sets in, then merely treating strabismus is not going to help with amblyopia. An eye patch may have to be worn.
The goal of treatment is for your child to have good vision in each eye, as well as good binocular (3-D) vision. If your child’s strabismus has caused amblyopia, treatment will aim at bringing the vision up to normal in the “lazy eye” first.
Glasses may help for eyes that are out of focus, especially when one is much worse than the other. They may also help straighten the eyes. Surgery on the eye muscles may be necessary, especially when glasses are not enough to straighten the eyes.
The results of treatment can be excellent. How much your child’s vision improves depends on how early in life and how quickly treatment was started. This is especially true for amblyopia and for strabismus that develops in a child who was born with straight eyes.
If treatment is delayed too long, it may not be possible to completely restore your child’s vision. This kind of vision problem can be effectively prevented, so it is important to seek professional advice as soon as possible.
Generally, an eye patch is for the treatment of amblyopia, or “lazy eye.” Work closely with your doctor and make sure that your child does not wear the eye patch longer than prescribed.
Though it can be tricky to initially get your child to wear the patch, once they do, they may even start having fun and wear it more than they should. This is NOT a good thing.
Even though it can appear to be a “fun thing,” never lose sight of the fact that it’s a medical procedure for the treatment of a very sensitive part of the human body. Overuse could cause problems in the GOOD eye. Be careful, and supervise closely please.
Surgery is not always required for strabismus. Vision therapy and eye exercises may be prescribed. Orthoptics helps to train the eye muscles. You can do this in your home.
Always feel free to seek a second opinion regarding strabismus treatment. There are choices and surgery need not always be the answer.