Amblyopia or lazy eye is a condition wherein the vision in one of the eyes is reduced because nerve pathways between the brain and the eye are not properly stimulated. There may not be an obvious problem with an amblyopic eye.
There are different kinds of amblyopia. In the clinic, we help rehabilitate the refractive and deprivation type of amblyopia. Refractive amblyopia happens where there is a large or unequal amount of refractive error between a child’s eyes. The brain in turn communicates more with the eye that needs less help with glasses. The one with the blurrier vision may look normal but in reality does not see well. Deprivation amblyopia in the Philippines is usually caused by significant congenital cataract which was not immediately removed and so has affected the visual development of the child.
Ideally, patients with amblyopia should be seen before 9 years of age to have a better prognosis. But recent studies show that even those 13 to 17 years of age can have improved vision when rehabilitated especially for those who did not have any treatment before in the past.
Remember that children do not complain of blurring of vision, especially if only one eye is affected. We recommend bringing all children to have their vision checked before entering kindergarten so as not to miss any eye condition.