(I am very shortsighted (-9.5D) and just heard about "degenerative myopia". I wonder how many high degree myopia people will have "degenerative myopia" ?)
2% of the population has this. You are nearsighted. Any person with a high degree of myopia has a higher risk of retinal detachment. It is not likely that you have this but an ophthalmologist (not an optometrist) should be consulted if you feel you may have it.
How can I tell if I have it or not? I'm 13 and my vision has been getting worse every year for just about the past 7 years. I believe there was one year when my vision actually got better, but I dunno. Last I checked, my vision was -9 and -7 in my right and left eye, and I know it's gotten worse this year. Do I have degenerative myopia?
What you are describing is referred to as "progressive" myopia. Progressive myopia is a genetically inherited condition. The classical presentation of progressive myopia tends to follow this time line -- Most first notice a shift into myopia causing a blurring of distance around second to third grade (7 to 8 years of age). The individual then consistently and continually increases in nearsightedness until about the age 17 to 19 at which time most then become somewhat stable in their degree of nearsightedness for many years until other vision issues such as cataract may cause changes.
Could I? What are the symptoms? How can I tell?
I have -9.00 diopters in my right eye and -7.00 in my left. I'm not even an adult yet and my vision seems to keep getting worse even if I don't use it much.
"Degenerative myopia" is a form of myopia where the retinal health is affected. It is different from juvenile myopia progression, in which teens get increasingly nearsighted. The only way to know if you have degenerative myopia is to have a dilated eye examination and have an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) make that diagnosis for you. Your retina either has a degenerated appearance or it does not. There is no way to tell by just the spectacle Rx (whether you are -9.00 or not) or whether you are becoming increasingly nearsighted or not.
I see floaters and such. Do I have degenerative myopia?
Floaters are pretty normal, unfortunately. If your vision is suddenly grey, like you're looking through a curtain, call your ophthalmologist immediately.
What kind of profession is most suitable for people who suffer from high degrees of myopia (nearsightedness) or what kind of work they should perform in order not to hurt their eyes?
Well this optometrist gets to -14.25 in the worst meridian of my worst eye. It's given me some insight (sorry) and empathy with at least my high myope patients.
It's a question better tackled from the other end. High myopes are marginally more prone to retinal detachment, so occupations exposed to vibration or shocks are to be avoided: pneumatic drills, driving heavy machinery... High diver, professional football player.
Some occupations require good vision without glasses or contact lenses... principally branches of the military and the fire service, but heavy goods vehicle driving is also legally barred from high myopes on grounds of a minimum vision without glasses requirement in most countries.
The retina is the layer of neurosensory tissue that lines the back, inside wall of the eye. If you imagine that your eye is like a camera, then the retina is the film. When rays of light enter the eye and are focused on the retina by the cornea and lens, the retina reacts. The light receptive nerve cells that comprise the retina generate a nerve impulse whenever they are exposed to light. The retina then sends these nerve impulses along the optic nerve to the brain which interprets them as a picture. It's rather like the film in the camera being developed so that pictures can be viewed. However, just like a picture cannot be developed if the camera has defective film, vision is not possible in an eye with a defective retina.
The back cavity of the inner eye is filled with clear jelly called vitreous . When the vitreous jelly undergoes the natural aging process it deteriorates and becomes liquid. As the eyeball moves, small pockets of liquid vitreous can move around as well inside the vitreous cavity. This movement causes the vitreous to pull on the retina, causing flashing (photopsia).
Normally the jelly is only loosely adherent to the retina and easily peels away from the retina during vitreous degeneration (syneresis). This event is called a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) and again is a normal event occurring in most people sometime between 50 and 70 years of age.
However, occasionally, the vitreous jelly is so adherent to the retina and pulls so hard on it that it creates a tear. If this tear is along a blood vessel of the retina this may cause bleeding into the vitreous (called a vitreous hemorrhage) which could lead to a shower of floaters which cloud the vision. Acute retinal tears with or without flashes and floaters pose a risk because fluid can enter through the tear under the retina and lift the retina off, causing a retinal detachment, much like damp wallpaper peeling from the wall. Since PVDs are usually the initiating event of most retinal detachments, this is why PVDs are such a concern.
Retinal tears may be sealed with lasers or cryotherapy (a freezing treatment), or both, to prevent retinal detachment. These treatments are usually painless and seal the retina to the wall of the eye. Both of these procedures create a scar to seal the retina to the back of the eye. This prevents fluid from traveling through the tear and under the retina, and is thought to be helpful in preventing a retinal detachment.
Retinal tears and detachments generally offer the following painless symptoms:
Many people experience flashes or floaters and these are not necessarily a cause for alarm. However if they are severe and seem to be getting worse, and/or you are losing vision then you should see an ophthalmologist immediately. An eye examination with dilated pupils will allow the determination of the source of your symptoms, as well as a recommendation for the appropriate treatment. Prompt treatment can often minimize the damage to your eye.
The detachment of the retina from the back wall of the eye causes it to be removed from its blood supply and therefore its source of nutrition. An untreated detachment will cause the retina to degenerate and lose its ability to function, permanently in some cases. Retinal surgery though offers hope and the chances of successfully restoring vision are dramatically improved when intervention occurs as soon as possible following the onset of symptoms.
Very small detachments of the retina can be surrounded by laser treatment, just like retinal tears, to help limit their spread. Large retinal detachments, however, need to be repaired surgically. The two major surgical treatments for retinal detachment are scleral buckling - where a sponge or length of silicon plastic is placed on the outside of the eye and sewn in place (the scleral buckle is very small and not visible after surgery), pushing the sclera toward the tear in the retina - and pneumatic retinopexy, a less severe treatment where the surgeon injects a gas bubble inside the vitreous cavity. The bubble pushes the retina against the wall of the eye, allowing the tear to seal against the eye wall.
If the retinal detachment is too severe for scleral buckling or pneumatic retinopexy, surgery to reattach the retina may be necessary. Under general anesthesia, the surgeon removes the vitreous entirely, replacing it with air or a fluid compatible with the eye. Over time, the fluid (or air) is absorbed, and replaced with the eye's own fluid. Lack of vitreous does not affect the patient's vision.
The success of these surgical techniques depends upon several factors including the size and location of the damaged area of the retina, the length of time that elapses between the onset of the tear or detachment and the surgery to repair the damage, and whether or not other complicating factors are present. Many persons who have undergone retinal reattachment surgery regain all of their previous vision, while some regain only functional vision. Even in these latter instances, the treatment is usually effective in preventing further damage to the retina and more vision loss.
All of these surgical techniques are done microscopically. We want to reassure you that your surgeon does not take your eye out of its socket to operate on it. This is simply impossible.
If your family has a history of retinal detachment, or your doctor determines that you are at risk, it is important that you be familiar with the signs and symptoms of this condition and that you have regular and complete eye examinations.
Awareness of the symptoms of a PVD is the critical first step in preventing a retinal detachment. If you have new symptoms of a PVD (floaters, flashes, shower of spots) it is important to have a prompt and very thorough examination of the retina and its periphery to search for any retinal tears. If a retinal break can be discovered before a retinal detachment develops it can be treated with the laser to seal the break and prevent a retinal detachment. Fortunately the great majority of PVDs do not cause a retinal tear and not all retinal tears will lead to a detachment. In general, though, if a tear is associated with a symptomatic PVD it is at high risk for leading to a retinal detachment and should be treated.
YAG lasers are used in a later procedure to create a clear opening in the lens-containing membrane, if the membrane becomes cloudy in the months following the original cataract removal.
Also, "laser-assisted" cataract surgery does exist in a few centers. The technology is in its developmental stage and has not yet attained the popularity of non-laser cataract surgery techniques currently performed by the vast majority of cataract surgeons.
Nowadays, cataract patients who have intraocular lenses (IOLs) implanted during surgery may need reading glasses for close vision, but that's about it.
In fact, with the newer multifocal and accommodating IOLs, even reading glasses are unnecessary.
As with any surgery, pain, infection, swelling and bleeding are possible, but very rare patients have serious problems or cataract surgery complications.
Retinal detachment also occurs in a few people. Be on the lookout for excessive pain, vision loss, or nausea, and report these symptoms to your eye surgeon immediately.
Age-related cataracts develop very slowly and painlessly. In fact, you may not even realize that your vision is changing until you find yourself going to the eye doctor seeking a change in your eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
Many things can cause a cataract to form, the most common being the natural aging process. As the lens of your eye ages, it gradually thickens and yellows, eventually becoming so cloudy that you are said to have a "cataract." Other diseases, like diabetes Diabetes: A disease in which the body does not produce enough, or properly use, the hormone insulin, Glaucoma: An eye disease that develops when too much pressure inside the eye damages the optic nerve due to the slow drainage of eye fluid through the eye's trabecular meshwork. Without treatment, Glaucoma can cause permanent blindness within just a few years. Symptoms include halos around lights, tunnel vision and vision loss. Glaucoma is most often treated with medications designed to reduce intraocular pressure. Some of these can increase the chances of developing cataracts. Eye injuries and chronic use of corticosteroids Corticosteroids: A class of steroid hormones used to treat a variety of conditions. Chronic use may lead to the formation of posterior subcapsular cataracts.
In many cases, cataracts are age-related, appearing first when a person is in his or her 40s or 50s, but not affecting vision until after age 60. In other cases, cataracts may be related to eye trauma, long-term diabetes, corticosteroid medications or radiation treatments. In infants, cataracts may be congenital (present since birth), occurring as a result of an infection that happened during pregnancy, especially toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, syphilis, rubella or herpes simplex. In infants and young children, cataracts may also be one symptom of a metabolic disease affecting the body's processing of carbohydrates, amino acids, calcium or copper.
Cataracts are the world's leading cause of blindness, accounting for approximately 42 percent of all cases of blindness in all nations. In the United States, most cataracts are age-related, affecting more than half of all Americans older than 65 to some degree. Although the exact cause of age-related cataracts is still being investigated, some scientists suspect that this disorder is linked to chemical changes affecting a class of eye proteins called alpha-crystallins. Current research suggests that alpha-crystallins act as chemical "chaperones," which prevent the abnormal clumping of other types of proteins into cataracts. Inactivation of alpha-crystallins due to age-related exposure to oxidizing agents or ultraviolet light, or to very high levels of blood sugar (in diabetics), may make it possible for cataracts to form.
No. Since developing cataracts is a natural part of the aging process, it is highly unlikely that you can prevent their development. There are things you can do to slow down their development, however, such as:
Your doctor can make the diagnosis of cataracts by dilating (widening) your pupil with medication and examining your eye directly using an ophthalmoscope and a slit lamp. You will also have a visual acuity test, a test that uses an eye chart to check the effect of the cataract on your vision.
Cataracts are long-term problems. In most patients, their effect on vision increases with time.
Call your doctor whenever you have trouble seeing clearly. If you are older than 40, schedule an eye examination with your doctor every two years, even if you have not noticed any change in your vision.Prognosis:
Cataract surgery improves the vision of 95 percent of patients who have it. In those patients who have intraocular lens replacements, 90 percent have 20/40 vision or better. In some patients who have had extracapsular surgery, part of the lens capsule eventually becomes cloudy, causing a condition called an after-cataract. This can be corrected with laser surgery, usually as an outpatient.
Corneal tissue "fails" i.e. loss of transparency with consequent drop in vision due to endothelial cell counts dropping below a critical level. Most cases are due to rejection and repeated ophthalmic procedures (as with repeated transplants). Fortunately, corneal rejection is uncommon and if it occurs can be treated medically in most circumstances.
Most corneal transplants ‘last' well beyond 10 years! Corneal transplant patients require bi-annual ophthalmic checkups to ensure optimal eye health.
This varies enormously from patient to patient and which transplant technique was employed to execute the procedure.
In general, using the new Femto laser technique, patients achieve navigational vision without contacts or glasses within 2 to 3 weeks. At 6 to 7 months post surgery, when some or all of the sutures are removed, most patients have 6/12 or better vision with glasses or contacts.
The older technique (PK using a trephine) has a much longer recovery period. A similar outcome is achieved in 18 months on average.
Laser vision correction can be performed after corneal transplantation – to achieve glasses or contact lenses independence. The timing of this depends on the cornea's stability.
The older trephine (hand held blade system) is still widely used. However, the incisions are weak and consequently sutures remain in situ for at least a year post op. Post operative astigmatism is usually very high requiring hard contact lenses to correct vision.
However, the newer Femto dalk technique uses a precise laser to remove only the abnormal corneal tissue whilst conserving the patient's own endothelial cells (less risk of rejection). Furthermore, with early removal of sutures (due to much stronger wounds after laser) result in earlier visual rehabilitation within 7 months as opposed to the 18 months with the older techniques.
If you have a traditional full cornea transplant you will get stitches to hold the cornea firmly in place while it heals. Contrary to what one might think, the stitches used in a full cornea transplant are not felt, nor can the patient see them when using their eyes to view things. There is, right after the surgery, some scratchiness, but it goes away after a few days. They are, for all intent and purpose, invisible and undetectable by the patient. When you have a full cornea transplant you aren't even aware of having any stitches at all. Partial transplants don't use stitches to hold the cornea firmly in place, but an air bubble that's pumped inside the eye instead. The air bubbles create their own problem such as not being secure (therefore causing graft dislocation) as well as increasing the internal eye pressure. There are different kinds of partial transplants. One kind has no stitches (these have more potential damage to the cornea and much more cell loss) and the other uses a couple stitches to close the incision.
No, the stitches don't dissolve. However, those who have stitches in aren't even aware that they are in there, even after many years. Some doctors believe in removing the stitches after the surgery, and others believe in leaving them in as long as they can.
Full cornea transplants were the first kind of any kind of transplant ever done. They have been done, with an almost 100% success rate, for over 100 years on literally millions of patients. All of the potential problems have been discovered many decades ago, with solutions found for them, and the long-term results are well-known and successful. Because they remove the entire cornea, the odds of the fuchs' dystrophy returning are slim to none. Over the 100+ years of being done the full cornea transplant has been constantly improved upon, with improvements STILL being made on them. Because of the many decades of improvements on improvements, plus their reliability and stability, these have been known as the "gold standard" of transplants.
First couple of DSEKs were done in 2003. It was only in late 2005 and early 2006 that there were large numbers of these done by more than just a few doctors. The DMEK, the newest of all, just started in 2008, and is so different from the DSAEK/DSEK that data for those are also not equivalent to that for DSAEK. Therefore, if you talk DMEK, any data will be on very few patients, the shortest time of all, and cannot be equated with the DSAEK. In fact, there is no data on DMEK at all yet. All of the partial transplants are still considered "investigational".
Yes, it means a lot! It means that right now things are going well for them! You will find people who had partial transplants done who are very happy with the results and you will find people who had full transplants done who were very happy with them. You'll also find (if you ask enough people) some who had partial transplants done who did NOT get good vision, or didn't get it very quickly; and you'll find the same from people who had full transplants done. The big thing to always remember, though, is that everybody is different and their results may not be yours; and, today's results are no indication of what future vision will be like. In other words, we know the full transplants will, in most cases, last a lifetime and have good vision that whole time, because millions of people have proven that over 100+ years. We have no such proof yet for partial transplants, so we do not know yet. We know the future complications and long-term results of full transplants, we don't for partial ones.
Please also be aware that any comparisons made between full transplants and partial transplants results are not exactly comparing "apples to apples" in that: 1) most drs doing partial transplants are starting with much higher cellcounts in the donor tissue than they do with full transplants. This gives much more room for cell loss in partial transplants than full ones.
If the patient doesn't "push" their doctor for a transplant, many like to wait until you're almost blind before doing full transplants. In contrast, many are doing partial ones earlier.... thus "skewing" the results in comparison, since the better the pre-transplant vision USUALLY the better and faster the post-transplant vision in either full or partial transplants.
You have to be aware that blisters leave scarring on the epithelium layer of the cornea, and/or the sclera layer. These layers are not replaced with a partial transplant, but they are with a full one. A second stage laser based procedure will then be needed in addition but this procedure wouldn't leave the cornea as clean and good as it would be if it were an epithelium layer that had never had blisters in the first place. If you have blisters, then you have to decide if you want to have a clean scar-free epithelium with a full transplant, or if you'd rather have a partial one and have the additional procedure to remove as much scar tissue as possible later, with the full understanding that the vision after both procedures are done may not be as good as it would be after a full transplant.
If you have more than one eye problem, such as having fuchs' dystrophy and map-dot, this will also have an effect on the kind of procedure you have done. Having a full transplant not only removes both diseases completely so that you don't have to worry about either reccurring, but it gives you a never-been-scarred epithelium layer to see through.
Some people can see well quickly after a partial transplant, and others can't. Many people who have partial transplants get "interface haze" which blurs vision similar to having fuchs' dystrophy vision. Sometimes that "haze" lasts a couple of months and sometimes a year or longer. Other people have other problems show up, such as pupil problems. Both partial and full transplants have some people who can see well quickly, and both have some people who do NOT see well quickly.
Generally speaking how quickly you get good vision afterwards isn't as dependent on the KIND of procedure you have done as it is on the person it's done on, which eye is being done on.
This is something that can't be answered with a "yes" or a "no". No matter what kind of transplant you have done you will still have the DNA in your body, so if you have transplants and then have children, your children still have a 50% chance each of inheriting it from you.
Traditional full transplants have been done so long now that they have had statistical proof for many decades now that the disease won't come back in almost every case. The disease progresses from the center of the cornea outward towards the outside edge. If the patient/dr waits until the disease has gone all the way to that very very tiny outside edge that has to remain for a full transplant (to sew the new one onto), there have been isolated cases where the disease has gone back into the new cornea. Since most don't wait that long, though, the risk of that happening is very very slim. With partial transplants too, there is the hope that the disease won't come back like it doesn't with full ones.
Less stitches, possibly less astigmatism, and sometimes somewhat faster healing time. However, keep in mind that not everyone who has partial transplants expecting fast good vision may not get the good vision as fast as they expect, nor as good as they had hoped for.
We must keep in mind all the pros and cons of all types of procedures and choose the one best suited for us.
Due to the onset and progression of Keratoconus, the weakened cornea loses; its natural dome-like shape. As a result, the light rays entering the eye are no longer focused properly, impairing one's ability to see images clearly.
Intacs are specially designed inserts, made of medical plastic, which are surgically placed under the surface of the cornea. Due to their unique patented design, Intacs are able to remodel the architecture of the cornea re-establishing a more natural dome-like shape and improving one's vision.
A corneal transplant is an invasive surgical procedure, requiring the removal of a section of your cornea and having it replaced with donor tissue. Although successful, it is a delicate procedure with typically a long recovery period.
The Intacs procedure does not require removal of corneal tissue, but rather works on the principle of reshaping your own cornea from within utilizing special designed corneal inserts that provide structure to a weakened cornea. The recovery period is typically short, with visual improvement noticed almost immediately.
In the few cases in which a corneal transplant was performed after an Intacs procedure, there were no complications reported.
Very. There are no cuts in the body of the cornea. It is much safer than a corneal graft which has been very successful in the past, and even than a gas permeable contact lens, and also there is no chance of rejection (some grafts tend to last around 10 -15 years).
The transplant carries risks such as infection, rejection, cataracts, Glaucoma, astigmatism and failure. At 15 years, there is no difference in the survival rate between penetrating corneal transplants performed for Keratoconus and those performed for all other indications. Young Keratoconus patients are likely to need one or more repeated grafts during their lifetime. Crosslinking avoids the removal of any corneal structural tissue (only the surface epithelial cells are removed and these grow back mostly within 2 days).
The difference between traditional LASIK and " All-Laser LASIK" (also known as "Bladeless LASIK") is the method by which the LASIK flap is created. In "All-Laser LASIK", a laser device called a laser keratome (femtosecond laser), is used to cut a corneal flap for LASIK surgery. This is a newer method to create a corneal flap than the traditional method of using a microkeratome, a mechanical device with a blade. There is no absolute agreement among eye surgeons on the better choice for flap creation. Some of the factors a surgeon considers when choosing a preferred method of flap creation during LASIK are as follows:
Discuss with your doctor any questions and concerns you have about how they chose their preferred method of flap creation.
Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease including a number of related conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve, which transmits information from the eye to the brain. It usually (but not always) is associated with high intraocular pressure (IOP). Glaucoma occurs when the pressure inside the eye is high enough to pinch off the circulation of the optic nerve in the back of your eye. The optic nerve is like a telephone cable. When the cable is damaged you start to lose the connections between the eye and brain. This leads to gradual blindness if not treated in time.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness and the first leading cause of preventable blindness. Risk factors for Glaucoma include:
In recognition of the importance of early detection and management of Glaucoma, Medicare and most private insurers offer coverage for annual Glaucoma screenings. For patients that have been diagnosed with Glaucoma, they should schedule an eye exam every 3 to 4 months, since there is no way to determine whether Glaucoma is under control based on the way they feel.
The "puff test" that most people are familiar with is a screening test that measures IOP. But the gold standard for measuring eye pressure is applanation tonometry. In this Glaucoma test, an eye drop is used to numb the surface of your eye and a small probe rests gently on your cornea to measure IOP. Also, the corneal thickness needs to be measured as the applanation reading depends on it.
Your doctor may also want to check for optic nerve damage by dilating your eyes and check for vision loss with a visual field test.
Though it's unclear whether Glaucoma can be prevented, you might be able to reduce your risk for the disease by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
I would advise to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol, eat a healthy diet, keep your weight down, exercise, take nutritional products and be sure to see your eye specialist on a regular basis.
People being treated for Glaucoma typically are not good candidates for LASIK. This is because a suction device is used on the eye during the creation of the corneal flap during LASIK surgery, and this briefly causes a significant increase in IOP.
But you might be a candidate for another type of vision correction surgery, such as PRK, which does not require the use of a suction device.
Myopia (poor distance vision) and other vision problems often develop gradually. Young children rarely complain about poor vision, and may be completely unaware that they don't see well. For all of these reasons, you will want to make sure that your pediatrician or family doctor checks your children's vision before their fourth birthday. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a child's vision should then be re-tested every two years.
Signs of vision problems that you may detect at home include squinting, crossed or wandering eyes, turning and tilting the head while watching television, or lack of interest in reading. If your family has a history of poor vision or crossed eyes, your child may be at increased risk for a similar eye problem. These children need to be tested at a very young age.
Children and infants can successfully and comfortably wear glasses. In fact, if they recognize that they see better, they may insist on wearing them. Children who are too young to talk show their obvious preference for wearing glasses by growing fussy or crying when the glasses are taken away!
Your child is more likely to wear the glasses if they are comfortable and fit well. If your child needs glasses, you should have the prescription filled at an optical shop that carries children's frames and impact resistant lenses.
Glasses are now considered a fashion accessory. Have fun selecting them; your child's first impression will be a lasting one!
The answer depends on the sport. In 1997, over 44,000 eye injuries occurred in sports related activities. A large percentage of these were in young athletes. Protective eyewear may decrease these injuries by 90%.
In sports such as basketball, racquetball, tennis and soccer, goggles should be worn to protect the eyes from the ball or from other players' elbows, knees or feet. If your child wears glasses, you may purchase protective goggles with the prescription already built in.
In low risk sports, such as track and field, street wear frames with polycarbonate or plastic (CR-39) lenses should be adequate. A sports head strap that secures the frames also increases safety by helping to keep the glasses from falling off.
People who are nearsighted, or myopic, have difficulty seeing in the distance without glasses. Children with myopia may squint to see distant objects, or complain of being unable to see the board. Infrequently, they may complain of headaches. Headaches are actually more often a sign of other eye problems.
There is no set age for the onset of myopia. Parents who never needed glasses may have a child who starts to wear them in 1st or 2nd grade. Parents who had glasses in grade school may have a son or daughter who does not need them until later if ever. If children exhibit signs of poor vision, such as squinting, closing one eye or wandering eyes, or if a school screening test has detected a problem, you should arrange an exam with an Eye Doctor.
Amblyopia, also known as "lazy eye" is poor vision due to lack of normal development of sight. It is a very common condition, affecting 2-3 of every 100 people. Normally, children's eyes continue to develop from birth until age 9 or 10.
Amblyopia is caused by conditions that interfere with that normal development. There are three major causes of amblyopia:
Amblyopia is diagnosed by finding a difference in the vision of the two eyes. A vision screening exam will help detect this, though further diagnosis and treatment will need to take place with an ophthalmologist. An Eye Doctor will help determine which of the three causes of amblyopia are occurring in your child. Sometimes, more than one can exist at the same time. During that visit, the entire eye will be carefully examined to check for other causes of poor vision.
Treatment of amblyopia involves using the weak eye. Covering or patching the stronger eye accomplishes this by making the weaker eye work alone. Glasses may also be prescribed to correct the unequal focus, or to attempt to straighten misaligned (strabismic) eyes. Patching often needs to be done while wearing glasses full time in order to completely treat amblyopia. If surgery is required for straightening the misaligned eyes, patching or glasses may continue afterward. Surgery, if necessary, may correct the strabismus, but only patching or using the weak eye can correct amblyopia. All forms of treatment need to be started as soon as possible. Amblyopia in particular can become permanent if not treated at an early age.
Many children have sneezing, eyelid swelling, tearing, itching and a clear discharge in springtime or early fall, indicating seasonal allergies or hay fever. If your child has some or all of these symptoms, your primary care doctor may have you try some simple treatments at home.
Cold compresses can be effective for short-term relief of itching. There are many eye drops that are also effective, but you should check with your primary physician before using any over-the-counter eye drops in children. Prescription eye drops are available to provide relief. Your primary care physician may refer you to an Eye M.D. (ophthalmologist) if your symptoms are particularly troublesome or persistent.
A red eye may also occur with a viral infection (commonly referred to as pink eye). Although it is sometimes difficult to initially determine whether a red eye is due to a virus versus seasonal allergies, a few key features can help. A viral infection is more likely if there is a history of a recent cold or exposure to another person with a red eye. Unlike seasonal allergies, viral infections usually begin in one eye first, and may or may not spread to the other eye. It typically lasts for 8-10 days. Careful hand washing can prevent the spread of this infection to others. Your primary care doctor can help determine if other intervention is necessary.
Finally, red eyes that persist or are accompanied by pain or decreased vision can be a sign of a more serious problem. Your family doctor will direct you to an Ophthalmologist for immediate treatment of more serious "red eye" problems.