Amblyopia Disability -Strabismus is Curable

Eye

source Flickr
source Flickr

How the Eye Functions

The human eye collects, focuses and transmits light through the lens to create an image of its surroundings which is created on the retina. The retina is a thin layer of light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The eye controls the amount of light that enters the eye and the iris (which is the colored part of the eye) controls the amount of light passing through the pupil.

The cornea is the transparent, protective outer surface of the eye. It helps focus the light, as does the lens, which sits just behind the iris. The retina changes the entering light into nerve signals and sends them to the optic nerve which has more than 1,000,000 nerve fibers to the brain.

Diagram of Eye

source etc usf edu
source etc usf edu

Visual Impairments

Visual impairments happen to most people at some time in their lives but typically it might be from age where you need glasses to read the fine print. There are several other more serious types of impairments, but I will discuss visual impairment in children

Amblyopia and Stabismus

My granddaughter had Amblyopia (also called lazy eye) when she was an infant and it lasted throughout her childhood. Amblyopia occurs when thebrain and the eyes do not work properly together. The brain actually favors one eye. The preferred eye has normal vision, but because the other eye is ignored, the vision in the other eye does not develop normally. Between ages 5 and 10, the brain stops growing and the condition becomes permanent unless they have had treatment. Children that receive treatment before age 5 usually have a near complete recovery of normal vision. Strabismus (commonly called crossed eyes) is quite often associated with amblyopia and is a disorder in which the eyes do not line up in the same direction when focusing.

When the patches were off you could tell my granddaughter also had strabismus which is caused by a lack of coordination between the eyes. This disease does run in families, but that was not the case with my granddaughter. The cause is rarely known and the problem is present at birth or occurs shortly after birth. The eyes look in different directions and do not focus at the same time on a single point. This is a very common side effect of amblyopia since the brain will start to ignore messages sent by the crossed eye. Her father took her to an eye doctor as soon as they realized there was something wrong with her eyes.

Is he not adorable?

source aspos
source aspos

Treatment

Treatment involves strategies to strengthen the weakened muscles and realign the eyes. Glasses, (polycarbonate glasses are used because they a shatter and scratch resistant) and eye muscle exercises may be prescribed. Surgery may be preformed on the eye muscles to straighten the eyes if non-surgical means are unsuccessful.

The amblyopia surgery helps the eyes to work together much better. Surgery was done on my granddaughter at about age 2. Then they would put eye drops in her good eye daily to force her lazy eye to work. She hated the drops and always cried, which broke out hearts. I think the drops must have burned a little. She did start wearing glasses, and then using kids eye patches on the good eye. This process went on for years. She was excellent about leaving her glasses and the patch on and didn’t complain. She saw a vision therapist frequently and her glasses were changed as her eye progressed. She must have had dozens of eye exams as I took her quite often when her father was working as he had sole custody of her at this time.

In Conclusion

There is another aspect of this disease which you might not think about but if you only have good vision in one eye then you eye hand coordination can be a problem. My granddaughter was very upset in grade school when they made her play baseball because she couldn’t hit the ball. She was not good in sports due to the eye problem. However, she was academically at the top of the class. This was where she could shine and she worked hard, always doing her homework. She is now in her first year of college with a 75% scholarship and she earned some college credits while in high school. She still wears glasses but she is a beautiful girl and I wrote about her and posted a picture for my 100th hub. All the eye exercises, patching and surgery paid off in her case.

If you have a baby or infant and they appear to have anything unusual with their eyes, see an eye doctor as soon as possible. Many eye diseases can be cured if they are diagnosed at an early age.


Matt Leinart Gives Advice to Children Affected by Strabismus

Encouraging Words For Those Affected By Strabismus From Linda Leinart

The copyright to this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

More by this Author


Comments 37 comments

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America

Rated Up and Awesome!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Patty, Thank you so much for your comment.


ecoggins profile image

ecoggins 5 years ago from Corona, California

Great hub. Very informative. I love the videos by Matt Leinart and his mother.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

ecoggins, Thank you so much for your comments. I thought those videos added a lot to the hub also.


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 5 years ago from Utah

Good to hear this! The eye hand coordaination is really true. If both eyes are not focusing together, your perception will be off. I'm so glad they can do something about this now.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

HealthyHanna, I appreciate your comments. They are finding they can even be of some help to older children now.


daravuthz profile image

daravuthz 5 years ago from Cambodia

Excellent information. I learn a lot here. Thank you so much for sharing your story. We all need to know. More importantly, you hub its a great thing that you have shared with us.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

daravuthz, Thank you so much for your comments. I am glad my hub gave you some new information.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 5 years ago from France

I understood that surgery was not possible. I am glad to read that it is and that it worked for your grandaughter. I'll be sending this hub to someone who needs it and is looking for other ways of treatments (rather than just the glasses or eye patch) for his daughter. Thank you.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Princessa, I hope this article helps your friend. I appreciate your comments.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

That is a very helpful hub especailly being the eyes it is so important to know all these information.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Hello, Thanks so much for your comments.


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

This was a very informative hub. Our daughter scratched her eye at the age of 3. We rushed her to the eye doctor like a lot of over-protective parents. Her scratched eye was fine, but her other eye was "lazy".

Her good eye compensated so well, we had no idea. We were lucky, from what I've read here! Had she not scratched her eye, we might not have known until it was too late.

We had thought, also, that if a kid had a "lazy eye" it would be crossed. As you've pointed out, while that does often go hand in hand, it isn't the same thing.

Thanks for a great read!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

sueroy, Isn't it amazing how something happens that you think is awful and it turns out your daughter had another problem that was found in time. They like to start treatment by age 5 from everything I read. Thanks for sharing your experience and your comments.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California

Pam you always have some of the best information. I learned a great deal on eye health by reading your work today. Thanks!

K9


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I'm so glad the eye drops and surgery were effective.. interesting hub, Pamela!!!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

K9keystrokes, Thank you so much for your comments.

Chris, Thanks for your comments.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Thank you for this personal touch with your beautiful family.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Mickey Dee, I appreciate you comment very much.


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Hiya Pam, this is inspirational. I'm so glad to hear that your granddaughter's eye was helped in her early years and she is doing great. Great hub. Surely a vote up is in order.

Merry Christmas,

Rosie


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Rosie, Thank you so much for your comments. Merry Christmas to you and your family.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Thank you very much, Pamela. This hub was very information. You are the "Queen" of health topic. Thank you very much. I always give my vote to you. Merry Christmas!

Love and peace, Prasetio


rpalulis profile image

rpalulis 5 years ago from NY

Very informative, I know of a few adults who have lazy eye but never new what it was or what caused it. I am so glad to hear that this can be treated at an early age.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Prasetio, Thank you for your praise! I8 do appreciate your comments. Love and Peace to you Prasetio.

rpalulis, It is a shame that some don't get treated at that early age. Thanks so much for your comments.


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

My darlin oldest friend on hub pages and even before hub, we have been bumping into each other for years. LOL, you are such an awesome writer, friend, and smart women, I am honored to know you. This hub is really great, I always learn so much from you. Merry Christmas my dear friend, let's pray for peace on Earth. darski rate up


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago

Very informative and well-presented. I'm glad it's curable. I want to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Darski, Thank you so much. Your comments mean so much to me. You are a special woman and I am glad you are in my life. Thanks for your comments. I agree to pray for peace on earth and I wish you and your daughter a Merry Christmas.

Anginwu, Thanks so much for your comment.

I wish you and your family a wonderful Merry Christmas also.


Pam's Granddaughter  5 years ago

Every thing my Gramma said about my experience is completely true! I'm a freshman in college now and I rarely have any problems with my eye sight. I still wear glasses, though I do have the option of switching to contacts. (I just prefer my glasses). Another thing to note, is that I don't have depth perception. My eye doctor told me this was due to the fact that my eyes do not work together well. He explained that it wouldn't effect my day to day life, other than the fact that I can't see 3D. (3D movies just look like regular movies to me, and it's the same with the new 3D TVs). My lack of depth perception is probably why I did so badly in sports. But all in all, I have a great life! I'm so grateful that my father treated this early, and that my Gramma helped with the treatment too!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

I just told April I wrote about her eye problem today and she told me about the depth perception problems of which I had been unaware. Thank you April for sharing this aspect of the problem so other people will be aware. I love you sweetheart.


katrinasui profile image

katrinasui 5 years ago

Nice hub. Very informative.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

katrinasui, Thanks so much for your comments.


cwarden profile image

cwarden 5 years ago from USA

This is such great information, it's always great to hear of conditions that are curable. It is so wonderful that your granddaughter took the time to contribute as well! I will be sure to pass this along. Thanks for sharing this.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

cwarden, Thanks you so much for your comments.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

The eye is an awesome organ, and I’m so glad we live in this time of developed medical science. As always, Pamela, you’ve drawn my attention to something extremely interesting I was not aware of. I am relieved to know that Amblyopia and Stabismus did not hamper your granddaughter’s growth into adulthood. She sounds like an intelligent and well-balanced young lady. My best wishes to both of you.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Martie, I am glad you enjoyed the hub and we are fortunate that my granddaughter received excellent medical care. Thank you for your comments.


cosmetic surgeon Melbourne 5 years ago

Interesting informative and useful article, thanks


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

cosmetic surgeon Melbourne, Thank you for your comment.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working