Five Ways Eye Exams Can Help Detect Amblyopia

Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is a condition that affects vision in one eye. It happens when poor vision in one eye goes untreated for a period of time.

Although it's sometimes possible to treat amblyopia as an adult — even if you're not sure you had it as a child — the earlier it's detected, the better. That's why getting regular eye exams is so important. Here are five ways that eye exams can help detect amblyopia:

1) Eye Exams Can Detect Lazy Eye Early

Amblyopia can be detected early on with a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist (an M.D. who specialises in medical and surgical eye care). After dilating your eyes, they'll perform several tests to check your vision and look for any abnormalities or misalignment in your eyes that may cause amblyopia. If they see any warning signs during this exam, they'll refer you to an orthoptist (an optometrist or ophthalmologist who specialises in correcting binocular vision problems), who will prescribe treatment for your lazy eye(s).

2) Eye Exams Can Include Blink Reflex Testing

Blink reflex testing evaluates how well you close your eyelids when exposed to bright light, sound, or touch on the eyelid. If you have poor blink reflexes, it could indicate amblyopia or other binocular vision problems. 

3) Eye Exams Can Include Refraction Tests

A refraction test can help measure the strength of your eyes' focusing abilities. Your optometrist will likely use either a retinoscopy or an autorefractor machine to perform this test.

4) Eye Exams Can Detect Strabismus

Your optometrist can tell if your child has strabismus — when one or both eyes turn inward or outward from the normal position. Strabismus can cause double vision and other issues that affect learning and development. An eye doctor will be able to tell if your child has strabismus by looking into their eyes during an exam. This is important because if left untreated, strabismus could lead to amblyopia later on in life. 

5) Eye Exams Can Determine The Correct Prescription Eyewear For Amblyopia

If your child has amblyopia, an eye doctor will prescribe eyewear to correct the condition. This can include bifocals or special lenses called prisms that help make up for the misalignment of their eyes. Your optometrist may also suggest a combination of both prescription glasses and contact lenses if necessary.

Detecting amblyopia is easy with a comprehensive eye exam. If detected early enough, most cases of amblyopia can be corrected with vision therapy or patching and treatment prescription eyewear. Chat with your optometrist about the best way to treat your child's amblyopia.

Contact an optometrist for more information about eye exams

About Me

The Future of Optometry: Everything You Want to Know

When I started wearing glasses, soft contact lenses were barely on the horizon, and I had never even heard of laser surgery. Now, there are a range of amazing possibilities available in the world of optometry, and I am so interested in seeing what the future holds. If you want to explore optometry, I invite you to join me as I create this blog. I am going to broach a range of subjects. When I'm not blogging or doing reading or researching for my blog, I love to ride horses, go hiking, camp with my family and shop for new outdoor gear.