Amblyopia treatment should be started as early as possible because:
Amblyopia and strabismus are commonly confused. When most people think of “lazy eye” they are actually thinking of wandering or misaligned eyes, which is strabismus. “Lazy eye” is amblyopia — poor vision in one or both eyes. This poor vision (amblyopia) can lead to eye misalignment (strabismus). Strabismus is more commonly referred to as crossed eyes, wandering eyes, or drifting eyes. If for some reason one eye of a child has decreased vision, the brain will not use that eye and it becomes lazy from lack of use. That is amblyopia — the eye is lazy from lack of use. If one eye happens to be looking somewhere other than the other eye, that is strabismus.
Lazy eye (amblyopia) cannot be treated with surgery. It can only be treated when the patient is a child. The younger it is detected and treated the better. In fact, after age 6 the success rate of treatment goes way down. Glasses and eye patches are the most common treatments for amblyopia, or lazy eye.
“Lazy eye surgery” does not exist. This comes from the fact that strabismus (wandering of one or both eyes) is often confused with the eyes being “lazy.” Lazy eyes with amblyopia just do not see well, it DOES NOT mean they wander or drift.
Strabismus, or eye misalignment, CAN be treated with surgery on the eye muscles. This surgery can be performed on both adults and children. Eye muscle surgery can improve not only the cosmetic appearance of the eyes but also visual function.
When most people ask about “lazy eye surgery,” they are really talking about strabismus surgery, or surgery to correct misalignment of the eyes.
If you are considering eye muscle surgery, here are the key facts to know:
Whether you are looking into this “lazy eye surgery” for yourself or your child, a vital first step is to discuss your goals and expectations for the surgery with your ophthalmologist.