A lazy eye is a visual impairment characterized by a decrease in the quality of vision of one eye, when there is no active disease (if there was a disease it has already been treated) and without the ability to improve the quality of vision with glasses.
In order to see, cooperation between the eye and the brain is needed. Light that penetrates the eye, is absorbed on the retina where it becomes an electrical message that passes to the brain through the optic nerve. In the upper brain (cortex) the visual information is received and the brain translates it into an image, which we see. The development of the visual system largely depends on the quality of the visual information transmitted. When the visual information is not of high quality, there is a weakening of the connection between the eye and the brain and a decrease in the abilities to see. At first the brain will to some extent suppress the information coming from the eye and over time, the suppression will become more significant and therefore the ability to see is impaired.This process will occur in the first two years of our lives in almost all cases.
A lazy eye is not a progressive phenomenon throughout our lives and does not cause blindness. It does not deteriorate without treatment but also does not improve. There is a consensus among professionals that it is best to treat a lazy eye as early as possible and recent studies show that a lazy eye can be treated to some extent, at almost any age, even in adults.
Causes of lazy eye:
Inward or outward squinting – in these cases the eyes are not aimed together for the same purpose and therefore the messages transmitted to the brain from the eyes are not coordinated. The brain is unable to correctly interpret the evidential information and therefore suppresses the message coming from one eye and uses the information from the eye that provides the correct information.
Anisometropia: Large refractive differences between two eyes (for example: one eye is short-sighted and the other is a vision problem).
Lack of visual stimulation (such as: drooping eyelid in one eye, cataract in one eye).
- In most cases, the lazy eye has no symptoms and therefore it is very important for eye examinations in early childhood
Sometimes it can be seen in sufferers as a kind of laziness:
- Blinking or closing one eye
• Motor awkwardness.
First of all, if there is an eye injury (such as: drooping eyelid in one eye, cataract) it is necessary to treat the injury. Further treatment can then include:
Wearing glasses to improve vision
- Normal eye covering with a bandage or eye drops to blur vision in the normal eye, in order to improve the connection between the brain and the “weak” eye.
As already mentioned it is important and desirable to treat a lazy eye phenomenon at as young an age as possible, while the visual system is developing.