Can Lasik eye surgery help amblyopia (loss of vision) for lazy eye?
When a newborn baby comes into the world and opens their eyes for the first time, they begin their journey to learn to use their 2 eyes together. This is a learned skill and no small task. No one is born with the ability to focus both of their eyes together. Interesting, most newborns are farsighted at birth and cannot focus on close objects. Light stimulation is critical to the development of sight in a baby. Why? Without this stimulation, the normal neurological connections fail to develop. Your eyes need this early stimulation of a clear image to develop the retinal cells and send impulses to your brain. Loss of vision can also occur if you would fail to use one (or both) of your eyes for an extended period of time.
What can cause amblyopia?
Amblyopia is usually caused by not using one of your eyes. Your brain suppresses the vision of the eye that is weaker or the eye that isn’t being used. If you only use one of your eyes, over time the eye that isn’t being used may loose its ability to see. For most of us, our eyes work together in unison. But if the muscles that control the eye, aren’t working together, focusing the eyes together is a problem. In addition, strabismus, a muscle weakness that causes the eye to be ‘out of alignment’, can cause a child’s brain to ignore the image from the weaker eye. Eventually this can lead to loss of vision in the weaker eye. Also, if a child has a severe farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism in just one eye and that eye goes untreated, the brain ‘turns off’ the weaker eye. After the age of 7, the unused eye will probably never be normal. This is why early detection and treatment is so critical in very young children.
How often does amblyopia occur?
Four people out of every 100 have amblyopia. If diagnosed and treated in very early childhood, this condition can often be treated.
Can Lasik eye surgery help ‘lazy eye’?
For patients suffering from amblyopia, Lasik eye surgery may help some adults see better but it cannot ‘cure’ the brain’s inability to see. Lasik eye surgery cannot repair the way that the retinal cells send images to your brain. Lasik eye surgery cannot go back and correct the normal neurological connections that failed to develop in an infant due to lack of light stimulation. What Lasik eye surgery can do is help to reduce nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism which helps to insure that the image is in the correct position on the retina. But this does not guarantee better vision at any price. Be sure to have a frank talk with your doctor prior to Lasik eye surgery to see if he or she feels that you will have vision improvement. Don’t be afraid to get a second and third opinion from different Lasik eye surgeons to see if they feel that Lasik eye surgery is a valid option for treating amblyopia. It’s easy to find someone who will be willing to take your hard earned money. Make sure that you feel that they’ve earned your trust and that they truly feel that Lasik eye surgery will improve your vision.