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Your Eyes Jan/Feb 2003

Lazy Eye Common in U. S. Youth
by Dr. Tom Smith

Ten percent of the 1.5 million children annually examined by the Prevent Blindness America organization have abnormalities such as "Amblyopia" or Strabismus."  Most of these individuals can be cured because their condition has been caught at an early age.  Amblyopia, or "lazy eye," occurs whenever the eyes send images of unequal quality to the brain, such as when one eye focuses better than the other.  Recent studies indicate that eye drops may be just as effective in treating amblyopia as patching, which has long been the primary remedy.

Strabismus, or "crossed-eyes," is common when the muscles controlling vision do not work in tandem.  One or both eyes turn in, out, up or down.  This condition may be present at birth, develop at a later age, or result from an illness or accident.  Strabismus treatments include prescription glasses, exercises, drops, ointments and surgery.  If this condition is left uncorrected, the individual can suffer permanent vision loss. 

The sooner an eye-care specialist diagnoses amblyopia or strabismus, the greater the chance for a positive outcome.  Regular examinations are especially important in detecting amblyopia, since the condition may only be detectable with professional testing equipment.

Dr. Tom Smith
Drs. Smith and Smith
592 N. Main St.
McKenzie, TN 38201
or toll free 1-877-710-2020

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