Can A Lazy Eye Be Fixed In Adults?
Yes, definitely a lazy eye can be fixed in adults. There was a misconception in the olden days that the lazy eye cannot be fixed or treated in adults. But, this is not true. Lazy eye can be fixed easily in adults. Lazy eye is nothing but amblyopia. So, the main treatment is to treat the underlying cause.(1)
Visual stimulation is carried by the optic nerve to the brain. Thus, the brain perceives the signals and responds accordingly. If the signal from any one of the eye is damaged or deteriorated then this leads to defective vision hence proper binocular vision is not possible. When binocular vision is not possible one eye has blur vision as compared to other and this is the reason many times as patient complains of double vision and confusion.(2)
So, the main treatment in adults, as well as children, is to fix the underlying cause. Once the underlying cause is treated then the lazy eye automatically gets fixed.
How Is It Done?
Mostly the treatment in adults aims at correcting the vision. A proper lens is used to correct the vision. Once a single image has formed the problem of double vision is sorted out. Formation of a single image is necessary to avoid confusion; the brain suppresses the signals from one eye which eventually becomes a lazy eye. So, once the cause is rectified further treatment is not needed.(3)
With more advances in medicine, specific therapies known as vision therapies are considered as an effective intervention. The patient is asked to perform particular eye exercises to establish a binocular vision. This is performed over a period of time. The only motive is a binocular vision. Lens and vision therapy is the best way of treatment. Apart from vision therapy one should keep in mind that timely treatment is a must else maximum benefits cannot be attained with delay in treatment.
Apart from lens and vision therapy, patching is even considered an effective way. In this method, the eye which is normal and working is patched and the eye which is abnormal and defective is left open. This is a method to stimulate the defective pathways. By doing so the eye which is defective is forced to work. Repeated stimulation to defective eye leads to maturation of tract. This method is proved to be very effective.
By the use of patching immature pathways become mature. The only basic principle is stimulation. Stimulation is what needed. It causes the correction of developmental errors. Hence, based on this principle this method was advocated. Patching is found to be very effective and maximum people have got benefit from their symptoms.
Patching should be done for at least a few weeks with an interval free period without the patch. This should be done regularly as it is found that if patching is continued for long without providing optimum patch-free interval then the effective eye becomes defective hence timely management and adhering to treatment is very necessary.
Proper precautions should be taken. Surgeries should be done in order to correct the underlying cause. The surgeon should be an experience one else there are high chances that the patient may lose his or her eyesight. So, prior to any operation proper investigations should be undertaken.
Strabismus is also corrected surgically whenever needed to get rid of amblyopia. Cataract operations related vision defect should be encountered by the doctor after the operation in the recovery phase. Precaution should be taken to avoid injury while operating.
People who think lazy eye in adults can’t be fixed should be made aware about the same. Many people due to their misconception get a delay in treatment thus facing lots of difficulties. The best time for treatment is in an initial stage. Vision therapy along with exercise is the basic treatment which should be started as early as possible. After this, an adequate treatment should be initiated. The main emphasis is usually on correction of refractive errors which is the most common cause of lazy eye in the elderly population. Proper checkup and monitoring will make the treatment easy and less costly.
So dealing with misconception and timely treatment is the key to get rid of lazy eye.