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Signs of eye problem & disease
Amblyopia also called "Lazy Eye" is the most common eye problem for children under 5 years old. It is a condition when an unfocused eye "turns off" and becomes amblyopic. The eyes can look normal but one eye has poor vision.

Amblyopia has three major causes:

1. Strabismus ( misaligned eyes )- Amblyopia occurs most commonly with misaligned or crossed eyes. The crossed eye "turns off" to avoid double vision and the child uses only the better eye.

2. Unequal focus ( refractive error)- refractive errors are eye conditions that are corrected by wearing glasses. Amblyopia occurs when one eye is out of focus because it is more nearsighted, farsighted or astigmatic than the other.

3. cloudiness in the normally clear eye tissues- an eye disease such as a cataract ( a clouding of the eye's natural lens ) may lead to amblyopia. This is often the most severe form of amblyopia.

How is amblyopia treated?

To correct amblyopia, a child must be trained to use the week eye. This is usually done by patching or covering the strong eye, often for weeks or months: the weak eye is strengthened because the child is forced to use it.

Even after vision has been restored in weak eye, part-time patching may be required over a period of years to maintain the improvement.

Glasses may be prescribed to correct error in focusing. If glasses alone do not improve vision, then patching is necessary.

Amblyopia cannot be cured by treating the cause alone. The weaker eye must be made stronger in order to see normally. Prescribing glasses or performing surgery can correct the cause of amblyopia, but your eye care professional must also treat the amblyopia.

Success in the treatment of amblyopia also depends upon:
" How severe the amblyopia is;
" How old the child is when treatment is begun.

If the problem is detected and treated early, vision can improve for most children.

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