There is new hope for individuals living with Amblyopia. Today, trained eye specialists can deploy advanced diagnostics and surgical intervention to virtually cure the condition. In many cases, LASIK eye surgery for a person with a lazy eye is safe, fast, and affordable.
Are you wondering if this procedure is right for you? The first step is to find an eye surgeon who will experience treating lazy eye with LASIK.
A great eye surgeon should possess knowledge, wisdom, and hands-on surgical experience. These talented individuals understand which amblyopia patients would benefit from this unique intervention.
If you think you might be a fit for this procedure, begin with a consultation. Your eye specialist can help you determine if LASIK is the best procedure for you.
We’ve created this guide to offer an overview of using LASIK for lazy eye, including case studies and success stories. Continue reading to discover if you are an ideal candidate for this life-changing procedure.
What is lazy eye or Amblyopia?
In medical language, Amblyopia is another name for lazy eye. Let us understand why an eye becomes lazy.
The role of the eye is to transfer information from the surrounding universe to the brain. The eye condenses the light reflected from various objects on the macula. Electric signals generated are transferred to the brain by the optic nerve.
A specialized area of the brain called the occipital lobe converts these neuroelectric signals into vision. Any flaw in this process leads to an Amblyopic or Lazy Eye.
A Lazy eye is an eye that is not working to its full potential. You may be aware normally, an eye should see 20/20. That means that a person standing at 20 feet should see what a normal person sees at 20 feet If a normal person can see at 40 feet what you see at 20 feet, then your vision is 20/40.
If, after correction with glasses or contact lenses, the vision does not improve to 20/20 then the eye is termed as Lazy.
LASIK surgery for lazy eye: differences based on cause
Every case of lazy eye is somewhat unique. The type of lazy eye you have might play a role in determining your candidacy for LASIK procedures.
There are three types of Lazy eye, depending on cause.
The first kind is Neurological. This occurs when there is an obstruction in the neurological pathway or the brain. If the optic nerve is not developed, or the conduction pathways are malformed, the light is not transmitted to the grey matter.
Also, the brain may be underdeveloped due to infections or genetic causes. This is the most challenging kind. Currently, this is not amenable to treatment.
The second kind is deprivation amblyopia. If the light is prevented from reaching the macula, it fails to stimulate the brain.
There are various causes for this. The cornea may be opaque. There may be cataracts in the lens. The jelly behind the lens may be fibrotic and hazy.
The good news is that treatment can be provided. The earlier it is instituted, the better the chance of fixing the lazy eye. Cataract procedures may have to be performed even before the baby is one year of age.
The third kind is refractive Amblyopia. The cause is nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
When the eye is very small or very large or has astigmatism significantly higher than the corresponding eye, it is at risk of developing Amblyopia. Here, the light reaches the macula, and messages are delivered to the brain. But the messages are distorted.
Since the brain keeps receiving information, it has the best potential to recover. This is caused when an eye has a higher degree of prescription compared to the other eye. This may be because the eye is smaller, causing farsightedness or longer, leading to nearsightedness or asymmetry, resulting in astigmatism. The image from this eye is not sharp, and therefore, the brain suppresses it.
You may ask, “What if the patient wore glasses or contact lenses?” and that’s a great question. The refractive defect is usually so much that with correction, the image shape and/or size is markedly different, leading to dissimilar images that cannot be superimposed by the brain.
Does LASIK work for lazy eye in all patients?
It is important to know that not all lazy eyes are treatable. If there is optic nerve damage, then the outcome may not be good. Also, if the macula of the retina is affected, the prognosis is not favorable.
In such cases, low vision therapy may be needed. That is why an expert needs to examine you or your kid as early as possible.
LASIK eye surgery for lazy eye caused by refractive error
Young parents often come to us with questions about curing lazy eye. Education about lazy eyes is important as it can cause learning disabilities in children. The key is fixing the refractory error. The correct procedure would be influenced by the child’s age and the refractive power of their eyes.
If the numbers are in the range of Lasik eye surgery, this may be the simplest procedure.
In such instances, Lasik may even be performed on kids as young as six years. Sometimes, an artificial lens may need to be implanted over the natural lens.
If the person is above fifty years of age, a presbyopic implant may be the best option.
Curing Lazy Eye With Painless Lasik and Presbyopic Implants in Eye at Khanna Vision
All LASIK procedures begin with a thorough consultation. This is a free, no-obligation appointment, We use this initial meeting to determine your candidacy. The best eye surgeons will communicate openly and honestly about your odds of success. If necessary, they will recommend an alternative treatment or procedure.
During a consultation, we perform a very detailed eye exam. The exam determines the refractive state of the eye.
We do scans of the cornea, nerve, and macula to confirm they are normal. These tests are painless. We can perform them in the office or remotely.
From there, the treatment varies based on age. Children as young as eleven can safely undergo laser vision correction in a normal laser suite. Younger children may need an anesthetist. You can discuss options with your surgeon before scheduling the procedure.
If the prescription is way higher for laser vision correction, an implantable collamer lens may be employed.
In patients older than forty-five, we may use PIE or presbyopia implant in eye.
What is the latest treatment for lazy eye?
We will restrict our discussion to lazy eyes caused by refractory errors. Let’s turn our attention to what has been the treatment modality for the last hundred years. Next, we will look at the application of modern technology to fix this ailment.
Traditionally, the most common intervention has been to prescribe glasses. At the same time, you may patch the “good eye” so the weak eye is forced to see. Kids don’t always like this treatment. Some children get scared when they cannot see well out of their lazy eye.
It is illogical to resort to patching without fixing the underlying problem. It’s like forcing a person to walk on a broken leg to make it stronger. There is a reason we don’t treat broken bones that way. Instead, we set the fracture and then start the rehabilitation.
The sooner we start the process of curing lazy eye, the better the chances of equalizing both eyes. Interestingly, older textbooks taught is that there is no cut-off age to restore lazy eyes. Today, patients in their seventies have had lazy eye improved by our interventions. Once in a while, we are even amazed to see the lazy eye overtake the good eye and become the stronger one.
If we do not intervene, the lazy eye can deviate out or in, leading to squinting or strabismus. Before any squinting surgery is undertaken, the lazy eye should be fixed. Otherwise, the eye may again move away.
In summary, Refractive Amblyopia has the best chance of improving. This is possible in kids, young adults, and even older individuals.
How much does LASIK eye surgery cost for lazy eye?
Fixing lazy eye with LASIK costs the same as a standard LASIK procedure. There may be other expenses if your young child requires anesthesia during surgery.
Case Studies of Cure of Lazy Eye
Dr. Khanna recently was successful in curing lazy eye in a 26-year-old patient with lazy eye. He performed LASIK eye surgery to correct the high anisometropia. The young man was able to change his driver’s license from a one-eyed to a two-eyed driver.
He also cured the boysboy’s mother with PIE procedure. She was in her fifties. There is no upper age limit for treatment.
Even though books and some doctors preach an upper limit of 11 years of age. It is true the sooner intervention is done the better the results.
An interesting episode needs to be recounted. A mother and her daughter came to our office. They both said they had lazy eyes and previous doctors had said nothing could be done for them. In fact, the mom said her optometrist cautioned her that nobody should ever touch her eye.
Well, we changed that unnecessary caution into sight!
If you suspect your child may have Amblyopia, pediatric optometric specialists can diagnose and treat this visual impairment. There are a number of advanced tests to be performed. These may not be available at your local eye doctor at Walmart or Costco.
Better sight begins with a consultation
If you or your child are a strong candidate for LASIK for lazy eye, the first step is a consultation. The initial imaging tests are fast and painless. Your eye surgeon can often determine candidacy and next steps during a single appointment.
Let us use the latest digital technology to see if Zeiss SMILE or Lasik is the right choice for you. We will explain the tests and help you allay your concerns in a relaxed setting. Book your consultation and take the first step toward improving your vision.