Amblyopia (Lazy eye)
Amblyopia, also known as" lazy eye", occurs when one eye is weaker than the other. Amblyopia is very common in young children. If the condition is not caught on time, a weaker eye simply "shut offs" to avoid double vision. It's hard to spot amblyopia without seeing an eye doctor. Sometimes parents notice that a child favors one eye over the other. Sometimes a child closes one eye or tilts his or her head. The best way to tell if your child has lazy eye is to have a comprehensive eye exam. Early diagnosis can prevent amblyopia from leading to more serious problems such as binocular vision loss or functional blindness in the amblyopic eye.Unfortunately, amblyopia is very hard to correct. Most likely, the amblyopic eye will remain a bit weaker than the other. Glasses can help to an extent, but not always. The problem is that brain is used to seeing a blurry image and needs to be "retrained" how to see clearly. However, with treatment, vision in the amblyopic eye can be improved. Treatment involves encouraging the weak eye to develop. This is done using eye patches, vision therapy, glasses, and usually a combination of the three. The strong eye may be patched to encourage the weak eye to develop. Early intervention is very important to achieve the best results.
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Astigmatism is another vision condition that causes blurred vision. It is usually caused by either irregularly shaped cornea (the clear part of the eye) or curvature of the lens inside the eye. Astigmatism is a very common vision condition. Most people have some degree of astigmatism. Slight amounts of astigmatism don't distort vision and don't require treatment. However, larger amounts can cause blurred vision, double vision and headaches. Astigmatism is often associated with myopia or hyperopia, and usually occurs from birth. It may be hereditary, or it may develop later as a result of an eye injury or aging.. Eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery can correct moderate to high degrees of astigmatism.
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Hyperopia is more commonly known as farsightedness. Farsightness occurs when either the eyeball is too short or the cornea has too little curvature, so the light is not focused correctly. As the name suggests, people with farsightedness are able to focus on objects that are further away, but have difficulty focusing on objects which are close. People with mild degree of hyperopia can usually compensate for it and do not require any treatment. However, sometimes hyperopia needs to be optically corrected with either glasses or contact lenses. Nowdays, surgical procedures are also available to correct hyperopia. Often babies are born with hyperopia but they can usually outgrow the condition as the eye develops into the correct shape.
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Myopia is the medical term for what most people call nearsightedness. It occurs when the eyeball is too long relative to the lens and oter structures of the eye. It is the most prevalent vision condition and has become even more common in the recent years. People with myopia have hard time seeing road signs or other distant objects, but have no difficulty with reading upclose or working on a computer. In addition to poor distance vision, symptoms of myopia could be eye fatigue, squinting and headaches. People with severe myopia are at a higher risk of retinal detachment and therefore must be monitored regularly.
Myopia can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Sometimes myopia continues to gradually worsen throughout life, a condition known as myopic creep. Myopia can also be corrected by LASIK surgery.
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Presbyopia is a natural ageing process of the eye. It occurs when eyes lose ability to focus on near objects. As people get older, usually when they hit their mid to late 40s, they start noticing first signs of presbyopia-eyestrain, difficulty seeing in dim light, problems reading a newspaper etc. The ability to focus on near objects declines throughout life ( don't you remember how easy it was to cross our eyes when we were young?). Presbyopia is not a disease and therefore it has no cure. Everyone develops it, and everyone after 40 must have a comprehensive eye exam for the proper diagnosis.
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