Amblyopia

Posted on 2019-07-11

Know The Glow’s ongoing initiative to raise awareness about eye conditions and diseases continues this month with a condition that affects two percent of children and is the most common cause of partial or total blindness in one eye in the United States. 

Amblyopia, more commonly known as lazy eye, is a treatable condition—if detected early. The condition becomes more difficult to treat after a child reaches seven to nine years of age, but if parents know the symptoms and look for “the Glow,” their children can soon regain the proper use of their eye.

Amblyopia occurs when one of the eyes of a child is nearsighted, farsighted or has more astigmatism than the other. The developing brain will learn to ignore the blurrier image of the affected eye and will focus exclusively on the clear image of the unaffected eye. Without early detection this can permanently impact vision. 

Parents can be proactive and watch for signs of amblyopia and other eye conditions in their children. Does your baby or child seem bothered by one of their eyes? If one eye wanders or appears to squint more than the other, it may be time to see an optometrist. 

Another indicator of trouble can be found in flash photography photos. If photos of one of your child’s eyes reflects with a cat’s-eye or “Glow,” while the other does not, it may be a sign that all is not right. A trip to the optometrist will settle any doubts.

Luckily, there is a huge resource of optometrists and specialists to help families through this challenge. Two of our own superheroes, Mikaela and Chipper, battled Amblyopia—Mikaela with her sparkly pink and purple glasses and Chipper with his cool Superman glasses. Both wore a patch over their unaffected eye to strengthen and train the wandering eye. 

Chipper enjoyed drawing designs on his patch, telling his friends, “Don’t worry, I have a laser eye!” 

Both of these superheroes responded well to treatment, and their parents are relieved to know that they caught the problem in time. They only wish they had known about “the Glow” even earlier and want other parents and caregivers to know the signs and symptoms—especially “the Glow” since this was the first indication of a concern.

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