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Amblyopia


“Lazy eye” affects about four million people in the United States. It occurs when, for one of several reasons, one eye is used less than the other. If one eye is crossed or turns out, the individual sees double, so he or she learns to “shut off” or ignore that eye. If the two eyes are very different, one nearsighted and the other farsighted, the same thing can occur. After a while, vision in the unused eye is reduced.

For many years it was thought that amblyopia, or “lazy eye” – when one eye sees poorly and cannot be helped with corrective lenses – was a permanent condition unless it was detected and treated before the age of six. Many optometrists no longer accept this, believing that even adults can improve their sight - if not completely correct their lazy eye – through special therapy.

The American Optometric Association agrees that current research proves the old theory wrong. The success rate does drop off as one gets older, but the cut-off at age six is arbitrary. Age should not be a barrier, though the longer the condition has existed the more difficult it becomes to treat.

Treatment varies depending on the extent of the condition, the patients’ age and the optometrist. Small children often have their stronger eye patched for several hours a day. This stimulates the use of the weak eye while they perform exercises such as coloring, cutting things out and tracing.

Vision therapy – usually several hours a week, in the doctor’s office and at home – will often correct the underlying reason for the lazy eye. Very small children can improve in a month or two; older children may take several months to a year to respond.

With adults, treatment is basically the same, but it takes longer. Adults may not wear a patch at all if vision is very poor, or only for an hour or two at home while doing fine tasks such as coloring in the 0’s of a newspaper. Patients do exercises designed to improve focusing, tracking and spatial judgment.

Many times after treatment, 50 percent of the older children and adults see as well or almost as well with their lazy eye as with their normal eye, and four out of five of the rest at least show improvement. Results are permanent when both the amblyopia and the underlying problem are corrected. When the latter can’t be treated, patients should continue the exercises on a less-frequent basis and visit their optometrist periodically so that the eye does not weaken again.
 

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McCormack Optometric Centre in Edmonton AB
Dr. McCormack, the caring eye doctors and staff provide personalized 'One-on-One' eye care. The McCormack Optometric Centre in Edmonton have earned their reputations of providing the finest in eye healthcare, eyewear and contact lenses.

We will make every effort to take a complete approach to your eye care. This means that we will take the time to not only understand your eye health and visual needs, but your general health, lifestyle, and dietary habits as well. This is somewhat rare in health care today, but we think you will find it to be a refreshing change.

At McCormack Optometric Centre, it is our goal to consistently provide the very best care for you and your families eye and vision care needs. In order to maintain this we have hired professionally trained dedicated staff and incorporate the newest technology to help us provide you with a lifetime of clear vision and optimal eye health. Come experience the kind of Eye Care that you and your family deserve.

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Optivision Eyecare Services 6245 199 Street Edmonton, AB T5T 2P4 Phone: (780) 444-0258 Fax: (780) 444-4723

McCormack Optometric Centre is proud to serve Edmonton and the surrounding areas of Spruce Grove, Woodbend, Acheson, Sherwood Park, Breton, Beaumont, St. Albert and Stony Plain

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