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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Lazy eye: Watch out for these signs in children

Lazy eye is deemed one of the leading causes of decreased vision in children.

By: Parenting Desk |
Updated: March 25, 2021 1:08:47 pm
child eye, lazy eye. child visionLazy eye should be treated at the earliest to avoid permanent vision impairment. (representational, file)

If you are wondering what “lazy eye” means, it refers to a condition where there is abnormal visual development early in life. It is called amblyopia, which may occur right from birth until the age of seven years.

This condition is deemed one of the leading causes of decreased vision in children. And if left untreated, the brain will gradually begin to ignore the images viewed through a weaker eye, and may result in permanent vision impairment.

To make lazy eye is detected early and treated, here is everything you need to know:

Causes of lazy eye

Droopy eyelid: Also called ptosis, a sagging eyelid can block your vision.

Muscle imbalance: This is the most common cause, where an imbalance in the muscles that position the eyes leads to this disorder. It causes the eyes to turn out or cross in and prevent them from functioning in symmetry.

Refractive errors: In some cases, one eye might have a better focus than the other. The other eye can be farsighted or nearsighted. So when the eye captures a blurry image and a clear one, the brain starts to focus on the clear one and ignore the blurry ones. If this is not attended to in the initial stages, vision in the blurry eyes worsens.

Strabismus: In this condition, your eyes do not line up the way they should. One eye could turn in or out. Individuals with strabismus cannot focus their eyes together on an image and end up seeing double images. The brain will ignore the image captured by the eye that is not aligned.

Common signs of lazy eye

Here are the four signs you need to watch out for in your child:

Frequent squints: When your child squints his eyes often or closes one eye when he steps outdoor on a sunny day, then there are chances that he might have a lazy eye. It indicates that one eye is weaker than the other.

Difficulty in reading: Lazy eye makes reading difficult. It can cause a child to re-read words, skip words, misread etc. Reading demands extra effort and focussing and lazy eye can make the whole process stressful. The child might also struggle in math as he cannot see the numbers accurately.

Accident-prone: If your child falls often or bumps into things, it could be due to lazy eye as it affects the ability to judge the location of an object and distance making the child fall. This could also be the reason why your child cannot keep up with his peers in sports which require hand-eye coordination.

Tilting head: While watching TV, playing, running or during any other activity, does your child turn or tilt his head? As lazy eye affects one eye, your child will try to use his dominant eye to have a better view.

Visit a doctor for an eye examination in case your child shows any of these symptoms so that a treatment plan can be made at the earliest.

(With inputs from Dr Ajanta Chakravarty, Consultant – Ophthalmology, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield)

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