Signs + symptoms
Amblyopia & Strabismus (Lazy eye)
People often refer to an eye turn as “Lazy Eye”. This is a condition called Strabismus. The eye turn can be constant or intermittent (occasional). The traditional approach to eye turns has been surgery to straighten the eye, however, research has shown that a non-surgical approach can often be more effective in the long term.
“Lazy Eye” is also used to describe a condition known as Amblyopia. Amblyopia is a condition where one eye doesn’t respond to conventional glasses or contact lenses. The traditional approach for this condition is often patching the good eye to try to force the non-responsive eye to start working. While this can help the child see out of that eye, children typically resist this treatment because they have trouble seeing. Parents are often very relieved to find out that we are able to treat amblyopia, without patching – and that this is actually more effective because we are teaching the child how to use both eyes together correctly so they are able to achieve full depth perception.
Often the child has no idea that there is an issue with their vision, as they think this is how everyone sees. Because they have good vision in one eye, they don’t know to complain.
Amblyopia has very few symptoms, and can be easy to miss. Some symptoms that might indicate a problem exists include:
- difficulty catching or hitting a ball
- difficulty seeing 3-D movies
- clumsy, often knocks things over
- poor handwriting
Both eyes need to work together correctly in order to have good depth perception. Those who have amblyopia and strabismus will have more difficulties with activities where they would need to be able to judge distances, such as:
- riding a bicycle
- walking down stairs
- playing most sports
- riding an escalator
- driving a car, van, etc., being able to correctly judge where things are in relation to your vehicle
If you or your child have any of the above signs or you would like additional information, please call our office or use the contact us form by clicking here.
Assessment + Treatment
There is a school of thought based on research from the 1950’s to the 1970’s that there is a “critical period” for being able to treat strabismus and amblyopia. This was set at age 9. The belief was that once a person past that age, nothing could be done. Luckily, more recent research has shown that there is NO AGE LIMIT to treat a lazy eye. In our office we help children, adults and the elderly with optometric vision therapy to develop the visual skills required so both eyes are fully functional and used correctly.
To find out how we can help you, the first step is a full Behavioural Vision Assessment. The assessment takes approximately 1.5 hours. The testing is designed to give the doctor enough information to fully evaluate the 17 visual skills required for reading and learning as well as how the child interprets what he/she sees.
The treatment plans are customized for each patient based on their needs. Dr. Lalonde meets with both parents (when the patient is a child) to gather additional information regarding how the vision problem is impacting the child’s overall performance at home as well as in school. he child typically does not attend this appointment so everyone can discuss the child’s difficulties freely. If for some reason you are uncomfortable having both parents in this meeting, a separate consultation can be scheduled for each parent, or it can be performed through ‘zoom’.
When the patient is an adult, it is best to bring your spouse, significant other, or your parents to the meeting with Dr. Lalonde so they can better understand your vision problem so they can assist you with the treatment plan as needed.
Book your assessment
4 Cedar Pointe Dr., Unit D, Barrie, L4N 5R7