Free Treatment For Lazy Eye?

Dr. Kisling amblyopia, Eye Symptoms, Fort Collins Eye Doctor, Fort Collins Optometrist, lazy eye, Vision Conditions, vision related reading problems 6 Comments

Free treatment for lazy eye? Well free eye care is worth what it costs-but a simple eye drop prescription  may be able to save you a thousand dollars or more in treatment fees. And that’s equivalent to a lot of free office visits.

Forget the pirate patch, eye drops are the treatment of choice today for lazy eye. No more daily struggles with your child to keep an eye patch on, one drop in the morning and your responsibility is done for the day. Lazy eye, (technically referred to as Amblyopia), is the most common cause of permanent sight loss in children and if not treated by age 7 to 9 it persists into adulthood  with permanent damage to the visual cortex area of the brain. It is the leading cause of vision loss in one eye in the 20-70 year old age group, occurring in around 3% of the population.

Most of the information on the success of treatment of lazy eye has been from limited,uncontrolled studies. There is a great opportunity for future learning about improving the treatment of lazy eye.

Amblyopia   is still usually treated with outdated methods of occlusion (patching) of the eye that sees well. Patching therapy typically has very poor compliance, especially since you cannot be with your child every minute of the day. Kids don’t like wearing patches after the novelty wears off and may be subjected to ridicule by peers. Evidence indicates that compliance is probably the most important factor in the outcome of treatment of lazy eye.

Using a cycloplegic eye drop that prevents the good eye from focusing forces the lazy eyes to work to see thing at closer distances. As a side effect of the drops the pupil of the good eye stays dilated, so it needs some form of UV protection in eyeglasses or sunglasses. This is not a new method but it has started catching on due to recent studies showing it is effective and very well accepted by parents and children. Without a patch blocking one eye completely the child is able to maintain some level of binocular vision which helps the treatment process. It also assures there is no impairment to peripheral vision, making it a safer alternative to a patch.

Atropine is the drop normally used but we substitute homatropine. It is safer and in my opinion there is really no need  to keep the effect lasting overnight while the child is asleep.

There is a tremendous cost and time saving to the parent due to less frequent office visits and a great reduction in the amount of eye exercises needed to restore the sight. If you think there is no way you can get a drop in your child’s eye every day we have a secret for that too. If your child has a lazy eye we can help make it easy and fun!

Comments 6

  1. Post

    Eleven is pretty much past the critical age period. Chances are reasonably good your child had good vision at some point prior to age 8 or 9 and can still be treated (unless the lazy eye was present at birth). At this time, they will probably need to see someone for eye drops to treat the lazy eye but due to the age will need more monitoring to make sure problems with double vision don’t develop. There probably will need to be some eye exercises also if you want to reach the best vision possible, but there can be a trade off in terms of time and cost. The initial gains are fast and easy but it becomes much slower and difficult after that.

    Best Wishes

  2. Post

    Hi Ruth,

    You hardly rate as an “older girl” at age 20. Maybe 50! To your point though, you can still have drops used to treat lazy eye at age 20 but the success rate goes down after age 8-9. You could also use a translucent patch over the good eye a few hours per day. Drops are great for kids who never do what you want them to. They can’t cheat when the good eye is penalized with eye drops. You should see someone who specializes in lazy eye prior to treatment since it is possible to make things worse if you are not careful.

    Best Wishes

  3. ian castro

    Hi I’m 17 years old and I’ve had lazy eye since I was 5. My parents tried the eye parched thing but I kept taking it off. They eventually gave up when it came to the patch. I can barely see out of my left eye. I was wondering if theres still a chance that the drops will work. Thank you

  4. Post

    Hi Ian,

    Hate when your parents were right. There is a chance drops will work even at 17 but an eye patch would work just as well since you are old enough to (hopefully) leave it on long enough. It does get harder after age 9 or so, but the fact that you wore a patch at all probably means you have a better chance of recovering some sight in that eye. It may require some more active therapy (like eye exercises) to reach the best level possible. It is always hard to predict, but most people will see at least some improvement.

    Best Wishes

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