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3 Signs Your Child Might Have A Lazy Eye

Approximately 10 million children in the U.S. have a lazy eye. Lazy eye, also called amblyopia, is a neuro-developmental vision condition that usually develops before the age of eight.

Lazy eye occurs when the brain doesn’t equally process visual information from the two eyes, resulting in one eye becoming “lazy” (weaker) This causes blurry vision in the weaker eye, poor depth perception, and difficulty reading even with corrective lenses.

If not treated, the affected eye gets weaker and weaker, leading to permanent vision loss.

Unless the weaker eye points in a different direction from the stronger eye, lazy eye can go unnoticed. Since it’s not easily recognized, it’s critical to know the signs that may indicate your child has a lazy eye.

The following 3 signs may indicate a lazy eye.

  • Frequently squints, rubs, or closes one eye

If your child squints, rubs their eye, or closes one eye, especially when outside on a bright, sunny day, these may be signs that one eye is weaker than the other. This behavior may indicate that they are trying to find a way to see more clearly.

  • Turns head to one side

Another sign of a lazy eye is when your child watches TV and their head is turned to one side. Since a lazy eye typically affects one eye, your child may turn their head to utilize their stronger eye to see better. This may also happen when they play sports or try to catch a ball, resulting in reduced eye-hand coordination and clumsiness

  • Reading difficulties

If you find that your child reads below grade level or refuses to read altogether, this could be a sign of a lazy eye. A lazy eye can cause a child to skip words, lose their place, re-read words, substitute or misread words, and add words to sentences.

A child with a lazy eye has to put in more effort to focus while reading to keep the words clear. In addition, it can impede concentration and prompt fatigue while reading. A lazy eye can turn reading into a chore instead of an engaging activity.

Whether or not your child is showing signs of a lazy eye, all children should receive regular eye checkups. Schedule an eye exam with Cove Eyecare in Copperas Cove. We will evaluate your child’s vision and eye health, diagnose any problems, and begin an effective treatment plan as soon as possible.

At Cove Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 254-549-1142 or book an appointment online to see one of our Copperas Cove eye doctors.

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Don’t let lazy eye cause problems for your child in school

Known officially as amblyopia, lazy eye occurs when one of your child’s eyes doesn’t develop properly. When left untreated, it can lead to permanent vision damage. So how can you know if your child has lazy eye? It’s simple. The best way to diagnose lazy eye is by booking a kids eye exam at Cove Eyecare with our experienced Copperas Cove, Texas, eye doctor.

Causes of lazy eye

This kids’ vision problem typically starts when one eye focuses better than the other. Sometimes, that’s because one eye is more farsighted or has more astigmatism than the other. Consequently, your child’s brain receives both a clear image and a fuzzy one. It begins to ignore the blurred images in favor of the sharp ones, and over time vision in the worse eye deteriorates further.

Sometimes, a child’s eyes are physically misaligned – one eye can turn in or out. This is termed strabismus, and it can also lead to amblyopia. Because of the misalignment, kids can’t team their eyes to focus together on an object, so they often see double. In order to clearly see and process visual information correctly, such as when learning to read in school, the brain ignores the images sent from the misaligned eye. As a result, vision in the lazy eye worsens.

Another cause of lazy eye can be because kids can’t see well out of one eye due to an abnormality that blocks light from getting through. A small amount of blood or other tissue in the back of the eye or a cataract could be the culprit.

Diagnosing lazy eye

A comprehensive, dilated eye exam in our Copperas Cove, Texas, eye care center is the only reliable way to diagnose lazy eye. Because amblyopia cannot always be seen from the outside (in contrast to strabismus), this condition can sometimes be tricky for parents to notice, especially in young kids. Without having an eye doctor check visual acuity in both eyes, it’s difficult to confirm a diagnosis of lazy eye.

When kids can’t see clearly, school becomes a frustrating experience. To help prevent learning and behavioral problems in school, it’s essential to bring your child for a kids eye exam before starting elementary school. If amblyopia runs in your family, it’s important to tell the eye doctor.

The eye doctor will check that both eyes see equally well, each eye moves properly, and that nothing is blocking light from reaching the back of the eye.

Signs for parents to look for

Although the diagnosis of lazy eye can only be verified by a qualified eye care professional, there are a few clues for which parents should be on the lookout, such as:

  • Clumsiness – a child with lazy eye usually has trouble with depth perception, which affects coordination
  • Learning difficulties in school – sometimes, a child who is having problems learning to read or write may be suffering from a vision condition (and not a learning disability)
  • An eye that appears to wander
  • Squinting or shutting one eye
  • Head tilting
  • Abnormal results of vision screening in school

Risk factors for lazy eye

A few factors are associated with a higher risk of lazy eye, such as small birth weight, premature birth, family history, and developmental disabilities. If your child has any of these risk factors, be sure to mention it to our Copperas Cove, Texas, eye doctor at your next kids eye exam.

Treatment for lazy eye

First, any visual acuity problems (such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism) must be corrected. Then, vision therapy is the most common treatment for lazy eye. By practicing a series of custom-designed eye exercises, your child’s brain is forced to start using the weak eye. Usually, the eye doctor will give your kid a patch to wear over the strong eye in order to strengthen the eye muscles of the weak eye. Once vision is determined to be normal, the patch will not need to be worn any longer.

In cases where lazy eye is caused by strabismus or cataracts, surgery may be necessary.

Schedule a kids eye exam to detect or rule out lazy eye

Why wonder if your child has amblyopia or not, when a comprehensive eye exam can give you a proper diagnosis? Untreated lazy eye can lead to permanent vision loss. Instead of taking risks, book an appointment for your kid with our Copperas Cove, Texas, eye doctor to inspect for lazy eye and the presence of any other pediatric vision conditions.

At Cove Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 254-549-1142 or book an appointment online to see one of our Copperas Cove eye doctors.

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