Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) in Adults

Amblyopia – also known as lazy eye – is an eye condition that isn’t caused by an underlying disease. Usually, it only impacts one eye. However, there are some patients that have amblyopia in both eyes. 

Adults with the condition often experience reduced vision that isn’t always correctable with glasses or contact lenses. Typically, the vision loss is due to how the brain treats input from the amblyopic eye or eyes. Instead of fully acknowledging the visual stimuli, the brain seemingly ignores the visuals. While the eye may also point inward or outward, the physical misalignment isn’t the source of the vision reduction. 

Signs of Amblyopia 

Certain symptoms are common with amblyopia. One or both eyes may wander inward or outward, or both eyes may not seem to be working together. Depth perception tends to be poor, and a person with amblyopia may squint or shut one eye to achieve greater visual acuity. Head tilting when examining an object is also a possible sign, along with frequent eye strain, eye fatigue, or headaches. 

In many cases, amblyopia is detectable during a vision screening as well. Since eye exams look at visual acuity in a variety of scenarios, the visual acuity reduction can typically be identified. 

Typical Causes of Amblyopia 

One of the most common causes of amblyopia is strabismus, a condition where one eye is turned, preventing proper alignment between both eyes. Another potential source of lazy eye is anisometropia, where each eye has different levels of visual acuity. Trauma and eye blockage (such as a drooping eyelid) may also cause amblyopia. 

The reason these conditions can lead to amblyopia is the difference in visual capability. If one eye is capable of seeing clearly, but the other isn’t, the brain suppresses the information that is coming from the latter eye. That processing change can result in permanent vision loss. 

Treatment for Amblyopia 

Many people believe that amblyopia is only treatable in children, often those who are 12 years of age or younger. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. While every patient is different, some adults can see results from amblyopia treatment. 

Typically, eye patching or drops alone isn’t sufficient. While this may increase the visual acuity of the amblyopic eye, the approach isn’t guaranteed to result in better binocular vision (when both eyes work together). Without training to learn how to combine visuals from both eyes simultaneously, the overall results tend to be lackluster and don’t often stand the test of time. 

Luckily, there are other treatment options. Optometric vision therapy can help patients by engaging their eyes during activities that require binocular vision and encompass all distances (far, middle, and near). 

Essentially, the amblyopic eye undergoes physical therapy in conjunction with the healthy eye. And, in many cases, the visual acuity improvements can be substantial. 

There isn’t technically a surgery to correct amblyopia. However, if another condition is involved, such as strabismus, then surgical correction of that condition may be necessary. That way, it will be easier to train both eyes to work together. 

If you have amblyopia and are looking for treatment options, schedule an appointment at your nearest ECVA clinic today. Our talented team works diligently to ensure your eye health, performing thorough exams to identify any issues that may need correcting. We can design treatment options to meet your unique needs, providing the best outcome possible. 

Doctor, My Eyes Are Always Tired

Everyone’s eyes feel tired on occasion. But, if you are continually struggling with eye fatigue, it’s easy to become frustrated. You might experience physical eye discomfort, have double or blurred vision, or have headaches day after day. 

In most cases, the cause of eye tiredness isn’t serious. However, there are situations where eye fatigue could signal a significant issue that needs to be addressed. Here’s a look at what can cause tired eyes as well as insights into when you should see a doctor. 

Causes of Eye Fatigue 

Nearly anything that requires the intense use of your eyes can lead to fatigue, including in those with good vision or with current prescription corrective lenses. Some of the most common causes are reading, writing, and driving. 

Computer, smartphone, and television use may also be responsible, leading to an eye fatigue condition dubbed “digital eye strain” or “computer vision syndrome.” Not only is it challenging to focus your eyes on the screens, but many people blink less frequently when they use a computer or smartphone. This can make your eyes tired, dry, and itchy. 

Being in low or bright light may also lead to eye tiredness. Since the lighting conditions aren’t optimal, you might have trouble focusing. 

Dry eyes and situations that leave your eyes dry might make them feel tired as well. For example, if your eyes are exposed to vents or fans, they might fatigue more quickly. 

In some cases, eye strain could be an indication that your visual acuity has changed. If you are squinting more frequently or struggling to focus, you may need to get new or updated prescription lenses. Otherwise, your blurry vision results in more eye fatigue, leaving your eyes tired. 

Additionally, eye fatigue could be a symptom of various underlying conditions aside from the need for vision correction. Diseases or conditions that impact visual acuity could be responsible as well as one that affects the pressure inside your eye. 

When to See a Doctor About Eye Fatigue 

If you struggle with eye fatigue regularly or are experiencing any eye pain, it’s best to see your doctor as soon as possible. They can make sure that an underlying condition that requires treatment isn’t responsible and can provide you with personalized guidance to alleviate your symptoms. 

Anyone with visual acuity issues – including nearsighted or farsighted individuals as well as those living with cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration – may be more likely to experience eye fatigue. Similarly, specific eye muscle problems, such as strabismus, may result in eye strain. Even some infections could create symptoms that mimic eye fatigue. A doctor can see if either of these are a factor and recommend proper treatment if needed. 

If you haven’t had your vision checked recently and your eyes always feel tired, visit your ophthalmologist or optometrist as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today, and our experienced team will work diligently to determine the cause and protect your eye health. Plus, any vision issues can be corrected, ensuring you can see clearly. We’ll design a customized treatment plan that meets your unique needs, whatever they may be.