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Lazy Eye Specialist & Pediatric Eye Doctor

Lazy Eye Treatment (Amblyopia)

Amblyopia, more commonly called "lazy eye," is a common vision condition in children that can cause serious vision problems if left untreated. It's often the result of misalignment of the eyes, but it can also be caused by one eye seeing more clearly than the other.

In these situations, the stronger of the two eyes will be relied on for vision more and more, while the other eye goes unused. If this continues, the unused eye will become weaker, its vision will progressively worsen, and its ability to see will diminish. However, with early diagnosis and intervention, amblyopia can be successfully treated in 95% of cases. Though success rates do decline as children get older, even children over the age of 9 can benefit from treatment.

As the only pediatric ophthalmology practice in the area, Pediatric Ophthalmology of Erie is committed to providing your child with the best possible care for their eye condition. Our expert pediatric ophthalmologist and pediatric optometrist are experienced in treating amblyopia, and we offer a number of effective treatment options. Our team will work with you and your child to create a tailored treatment plan that takes into account their unique needs.


Girl with an eyepatch

Amblyopic Eye Treatment From an Ophthalmologist in Erie, PA

Symptoms of Lazy Eye

Amblyopia can often be difficult for parents and other adults to detect, especially in younger children. If your child has amblyopia, you may notice them:

  • Tilting their head to one side
  • Closing one eye when looking at an object
  • Squinting or frowning more with one eye
  • Struggling with reading or holding things very close to their face
  • Rubbing their eyes frequently
  • Blinking excessively
  • Tending to keep one eye shut

Remember, early detection and treatment of amblyopia are key for successful outcomes. After diagnosing the issue, our pediatric ophthalmologist or pediatric optometrist will assess its severity and recommend the best treatment plan.

Treatment of amblyopia involves strengthening the weaker eye and helping the two eyes work together. Popular treatment options include:

  • Patches: Covering the stronger eye with a patch encourages the "lazy" eye to function more actively. The duration of patch-wearing varies depending on how much improvement is observed, aiding in enhancing vision.
  • Filters: Bangerter filters are another option. These are semi-transparent plastic sheets attached to the back surface of glasses, slightly obscuring the vision in the "good" eye. Worn all the time, these filters are generally well-received by most patients.
  • Medication: Atropine, a type of medication, can be administered via eye drops or ointment. Used on either a daily or weekly basis, it blurs the vision of the stronger eye, causing the weaker eye to work harder.
  • Eye Surgery: For lazy eye patients who also have strabismus and aren't responding to other treatments, surgery on the eye muscles may be considered to align the eyes properly. This procedure can help the eyes better work together and improve vision.
  • Binocular Treatments: Binocular treatments such as CureSight or Luminopia are new options for treating lazy eye that involve the patient wearing 3D glasses. Through a combination of filters, games and exercises, these treatments aim to strengthen both eyes and help them work together more effectively.

Regardless of the treatment, regular visits to check on the weaker eye's progress are essential. Our pediatric eye specialists will routinely measure improvements in vision and make sure that your child is on the path to better eyesight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is lazy eye surgery the only treatment option for amblyopia?

Lazy eye correction surgery is usually the last resort for treatment and is only done if other treatments have not been successful. Our team will recommend the most effective treatment based on your child's specific needs, which might include vision therapy, wearing an eye patch, or using eye drops that blur the stronger eye's vision, encouraging the weaker eye to work harder.

How long does amblyopic eye treatment take to be effective?

This depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of the condition and the chosen treatment method. Your child's eye doctor will be able to give you a more specific timeline, but this can vary, as well. Regular follow-up visits will be necessary to monitor progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed.

Though treatment may take some time, it's crucial to understand that amblyopia does not resolve on its own. Without treatment, the weaker eye will lose vision, possibly leading to permanent loss of sight in that eye. However, if diagnosed and treated early, amblyopia can be successfully treated. The older the child gets, the more chances of success decline.

Will my insurance cover treatment from a doctor that treats lazy eye near me?

At Pediatric Ophthalmology of Erie, we are proud to accept a number of major insurance plans from providers in the region. We strive to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for our patients so that they can receive the highest quality of care, which is why we also suggest calling your provider before scheduling. This helps to ensure that you don't incur any surprise costs.

How can I get started with the best pediatric eye surgeon in Erie, PA?

Our easy-to-use online tool makes scheduling an appointment with us simple and convenient. Alternatively, if you prefer a more personal touch or need any assistance, we are just a phone call away. Our friendly team is always ready to help set up your child's visit and answer any of your questions!

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