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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.
 

The McMann Eye Institute is a comprehensive ophthalmology practice
offering a full spectrum of vision correction and treatment services.

McMann Eye Institute of Honolulu, Hawaii


McMann Eye Institute of Honolulu, Hawaii    McMann Eye Institute of Honolulu, Hawaii  
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The McMann Eye Institute understands how important your vision is to your life. Whether restoring, preserving, or improving sight, our eye doctors are dedicated to optimizing your vision so you can live your best. With doctors that specialize in LASIK, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye care, and cornea surgical treatments, we offer our patients an extensive range of eye care services on the island of O’ahu, Honolulu, Hawaii.

In addition to performing these life changing procedures, we can also help you with simple vision problems and provide preventative vision care for you and your family. Trusted by both patients and doctors, our excellent reputation speaks for itself as we strive to provide the highest quality care in a professional and compassionate environment.



McMann Eye Institute The Queen’s Medical Center
West O’ahu
91-2139 Ft. Weaver Rd. Suite 202
Ewa Beach, HI 96706
Phone: (808) 677-2733

McMann Eye Institute proudly serves Ewa Beach, HI and the Oahu areas of Honolulu, Waipahu, Aiea, Wahiawa, Kaneohe, Maunawili, Kahaluu, Kapolei, Iroquois Point and the remaining Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific Rim.

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Michael A. McMann, MD