How to prevent cataracts
There are some simple things you can do to lower your risk and potentially slow or delay the development of cataracts later in life.
Lazy eye, or amblyopia, is the most common cause of visual impairment in children. It’s called “lazy eye” because one eye is stronger than the other. Over time, the brain relies more on the stronger eye, while vision in the weaker eye gets worse. Learn more about pediatric ophthalmology.
Amblyopia starts in childhood. Doctors don’t always know what causes amblyopia, but sometimes a different vision problem can lead to this condition. These different vision problems include:
Children are more at risk if they were born prematurely or were smaller than average at birth. They’re also at more risk if they have a family history of amblyopia, childhood cataracts or other eye conditions.
Symptoms of amblyopia can be hard to observe. Parents may notice their child is struggling to see clearly. That can produce symptoms such as:
Parents may not know their child has amblyopia until an eye doctor diagnoses it during a normal eye exam. That makes it important for children to have their vision screened between the ages of 3 and 5.
If another vision problem is causing amblyopia, the eye doctor will treat that first. They may recommend glasses or contacts for children who are farsighted or nearsighted. Surgery can correct cataracts.
Other treatments include:
It’s important to treat children with amblyopia early. Those who grow up without treatment may have lifelong vision problems.