Roughly four million people in the United States are diagnosed with Amblyopia, more commonly known as lazy eye. It occurs when one eye is used less than the other causing one eye to turn in or out. This eye turn creates double vision, so they learn to “shut off” or suppress the turned eye. If the two eyes have two very different prescriptions the same movement or suppression can occur creating worsening vision in the unused eye.
Amblyopia was thought to be a permanent condition unless detected and treated before the age of six. However, this is incorrect as even adults can improve if not correct Amblyopia through the use vision therapy. A significant number of studies back the results of Vision Therapy and it’s role in correcting Amblyopia in patients of all ages.
While the success rate drops off as a person ages, there is no age cut-off. Treatment varies on the severity, the patients’ age, and the optometrist. Patching the stronger eye for 1-2 hours a day may help in the case of young children, stimulating the weak eye while performing everyday activities such as coloring, tracing, and watching movies. Adults are not patched but are asked to follow a strict exercise regimen to strengthen the weaker eye while giving the stronger eye a well deserved break.
Vision Therapy results are permanent when amblyopia and the underlying condition(s) are corrected.