Does anyone know if lazy eyes are curable or if surgery is necessary?

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Lisa - posted on 04/09/2009

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Hi Melanie,

My son has heriditary lazy eyes, or squints as they are sometimes called. My doctors kept pushing me to get my sons eyes operated on since he was 16 months old, but I refused. My brother had the same problem, and was operated on at 6 yrs old, but by 9 yrs old the problem had come back. So, I refuse to get my sons eyes 'fixed' until he is older and has stopped growing, as the eye socket grows as your child does, making the chance of the eye wandering again, more common. . He is 8 yrs old now, has no problems with his sight, has adjusted to having the lazy eyes as he had them from birth, and in actual fact, the eyes are straightening by themselves. We tried the patches and glasses but he refused to keep them on. But I would listen to your doctor/surgeon as they will know just how the lazy eye is affecting your child.

Amy - posted on 11/24/2012

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I see people with lazy eye at least six times/week because I work as a developmental optometrist.



The only time that surgery is necessary is if there is a nerve or muscle restriction. You can tell this by covering one eye and checking to see if the uncovered eye has problems moving fully up, down, left, or right. Then try the other eye.



If both eyes move well on their own, that means that the problem is in the brain - it is having a problem fusing the images that are coming from each eye.



Vision therapy has the best possible outcome in this case. You may want to visit www.pavevision.org or www.covd.org for articles on this type of treatment.



Yes - this can be cured without surgery. In fact, surgery makes the process more difficult because it CAUSES restrictions in the muscles.

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Joanna - posted on 04/09/2009

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i have a lazy eye which was operated on when i was 4, it runs in my family my mother and sister both have it. i am very short sighted and wear thick glasses.



the effects of lazy eyes vary depending how bad it is as i have poor vision in the eye that was lazy  but it does not affect me as my good eye compensates for it. the only time i have problems are for things like cheap 3d glasses that have different colour lenses (i can cope with not using them!!) and occasional double vision when i am lying down when not wearing my glasses ( my husband and son look as if they have three eyes which is a little freaky!!)



please do not worry about it as he will grow up with it and for him it will be normal lol i hope i have helped

[deleted account]

hey melanie. my son is only 2 1/2 and he had a lazy eye. you should get it checked out because the longer you leave it the harder it is to fix. with my son they patched his good eye but he wouldn't keep the patches on. then they tried eye drops in the good eye to blur it but it didnt help. the only other choices were glasses or surgery. since he wouldnt keep the patches on i didnt see good odds in him keeping glasses on so i got the surgery. its been 2 mths now and it looks pretty straight. if you have any questions feel free to ask. i have been dealing with his eye since he was 1 so it can take awhile to get it fixed but its definitely worth it.

[deleted account]

hey melanie. my son is only 2 1/2 and he had a lazy eye. you should get it checked out because the longer you leave it the harder it is to fix. with my son they patched his good eye but he wouldn't keep the patches on. then they tried eye drops in the good eye to blur it but it didnt help. the only other choices were glasses or surgery. since he wouldnt keep the patches on i didnt see good odds in him keeping glasses on so i got the surgery. its been 2 mths now and it looks pretty straight. if you have any questions feel free to ask. i have been dealing with his eye since he was 1 so it can take awhile to get it fixed but its definitely worth it.

Brandi - posted on 04/09/2009

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My family has this issue. My aunt and uncle have this condition as well as myself and my daughter.....they straightened her eyes via surgery, however if its treated early you can do patching on the strong eye and using a drop called atropine (dialates the eye and makes it blurry so you're forced to use the weaker eye). You will have to be persistent with this however...Good luck.

Sally - posted on 04/09/2009

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Hi Melanie

I suggest you take your child for a consult with a BEHAVIOURAL Optometrist or OPTHALMOLOGIST,(eye surgeon). Perhaps your GP or clinic nurse is the best place to gain initial referal. There are a variety of treatments available depending on the severity of the strabismus(eye turn) sometimes they work and other times surgery is the only way to correct the problem by tightening the muscles of the eye that drifts,

Luck

User - posted on 04/09/2009

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Babies eyes will look cross-eyed and will wander for the first few months...you should start to notice them straightening by about 3 months of age.  If you are noticing an eye or both eyes still turning inwards or outwards for that matter...go to the Doctor to get him/her refered to see the Opthamologist...who will hopefully see him/her at about 6 months of age.  Patching as you've read from other posts will strengthen up the weeker eye...how much do you do depends on the severity of the squint...the Opthamologist will tell you how many hours you will need to patch each week. ...yes the earlier you do this the better the result!  some can get away with just patching...some need glasses...and some will require surgery...all depending on the individual. 



Our son who is nearly 4 has had a squint since he was a baby....we patched his lazy eye...which funny enough changed the dominant eye to the weeker eye...in other words the lazy eye swapped during the patching process!!  At 16 months we decided to get surgery done...bilateral squint operation....yes it was scary to see your little baby be put under anaesthetic..but it was worth it!  we still have to patch now...about 10 hours a day...I've made a pirate looking patch for him to wear...he loves it! 

User - posted on 04/09/2009

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Babies eyes will look cross-eyed and will wander for the first few months...you should start to notice them straightening by about 3 months of age.  If you are noticing an eye or both eyes still turning inwards or outwards for that matter...go to the Doctor to get him/her refered to see the Opthamologist...who will hopefully see him/her at about 6 months of age.  Patching as you've read from other posts will strengthen up the weeker eye...how much do you do depends on the severity of the squint...the Opthamologist will tell you how many hours you will need to patch each week. ...yes the earlier you do this the better the result!  some can get away with just patching...some need glasses...and some will require surgery...all depending on the individual. 



Our son who is nearly 4 has had a squint since he was a baby....we patched his lazy eye...which funny enough changed the dominant eye to the weeker eye...in other words the lazy eye swapped during the patching process!!  At 16 months we decided to get surgery done...bilateral squint operation....yes it was scary to see your little baby be put under anaesthetic..but it was worth it!  we still have to patch now...about 10 hours a day...I've made a pirate looking patch for him to wear...he loves it! 

[deleted account]

my son had a lazy eye and he was operated on at the age of 3.....!!

but it can be cured with eye patches

Sheryl - posted on 04/08/2009

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One of our twins, has a lazy eye. (It is in the family history.) It is hardly noticeable anymore, unless he is real tired and it doesn't seem to bother him at all. He never had surgery or patching, just eyeglasses. His vision was very poor, and the specialist said that the poor vision caused the lazy eye. So fix the vision with glasses and it should go away. And it did. He started wearing glasses at 8 months. They were very strong, but after kindergarten they were less strong and now they are about average strength. The doctor talked about the surgery as a possiblity if the glasses didn't work, but felt that it wouldn't probably be necessary. He is almost 17 now, and it is only noticeable sometimes in pictures. Our eye specialist (we haven't been to him in about 9 years) was very educated and our family eye doctor was a great help also.

Mechelle - posted on 04/08/2009

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My daughter wears corrective lenses for her lazy eye. Through her specialist she also learned a series of exercises to strengthen her muscles. When the option of surgery came up the risks were very scary to me. So far the alternatives of the glasses and exercises have really done wonders for her.  

Mechelle - posted on 04/08/2009

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My daughter wears corrective lenses for her lazy eye. Through her specialist she also learned a series of exercises to strengthen her muscles. When the option of surgery came up the risks were very scary to me. So far the alternatives of the glasses and exercises have really done wonders for her.  

[deleted account]

 I believe the first step would probably be to patch the good eye and do therapy with the lazy eye  that will makes the muscles stronger. Surgery is usually the next step if therapy does not work. Your best bet is to talk with your pediatrician and find a pediatric eye doctor. Discuss your concerns and do not be afraid to seek a second opinion.

Claire - posted on 04/08/2009

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Hi Melanie, i have had a lazy eye since birth, not a very bad one, but my family and friends notice it when i'm sick or very tired. As a child i was given lots of strengthening excercises for it, which helped a little. The option of surgery came up, but by the time this was mentioned i was already about 8 or 9 years old and apparently the longer you leave it, the harder it is to correct. If you were to get it done as a baby, they could probably fix it completely, but the older you are, the more chance of being left with double vision. Does your child have a lazy eye? If you're worried about it affecting their sight, you shouldn't, i don't see that great out of my left eye but i can still drive and do everything normally, and like i said, nobody really knows that the eye is any different. Occasionally i become self conscious of it if i'm focusing on someone for long periods of time, because i know the eye may start to drift alittle! If you strengthen the eye froma young age (patch over the good eye is a good one) then your child will become much more aware of it as they are older. You are supposed to be able to feel the eye drifting and bring it back, but i never had that ability. Sorry for the long post, hope it helps!!

Steffanii - posted on 04/08/2009

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it depends on the severity of it. some times as the eyes muscles develop and get stronger this could decrease or go away on its own.

Jenn - posted on 04/08/2009

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From what I know, they do a treatment of patching the good eye and forcing the baby to use the lazy eye and it strengthens up the muscles. It is usually best to do as early as possible especially before the child can get made fun of at school because of the patch because then they will not wear it. Check with your pediatrician or eye doctor.

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