Amblyopia occurs when the brain prefers to choose optic signals to one eye compared to another one. Two primary causes of amblyopia include strabismus—misalignment of the eyes and certain degree of refractive errors. Because of these two conditions, the brain sends optic signal merely to one eye, ignoring the weaker one that gradually this ignored eye loses its visual ability. In treating various eye disorder, lasik surgery has been widely employed. Refractive amblyopia is the type of amblyopia that is often related to the use of lasik surgery as the treatment method.
Refractive amblyopic eyes?
A certain type of amblyopia is referred as refractive amblyopia, in which the patient’s eye is astigmatic, nearsighted, or farsighted. In people with this refractive problems, the brain might begin to ignore the eye that has greater refractive error, which may lead to the problem of amblyopic eye. This is possible in that the ignored eye will eventually lose its visual ability that triggers vision loss.
Refractive error of the eye can be treated with either glasses or contact lenses. However, different refractive errors between both eyes may trigger extreme discomfort to the sufferer, as the power of eyeglass lenses affects the size of images reaching the back of the eye. As for contact lenses, these may trigger less discomfort than eye glasses, since they sit directly on the surface of the eye.
Can refractive amblyopia be corrected with lasik surgery?
The main thing to consider when having amblyopia treatments is that whatever methods to use in treating the problem should be performed as soon as the diagnose is uttered. Thus, these treatments are likely to give more improvement to a suspected amblyopic eye if performed during childhood. In order to know how likely a lasik surgery can improve amblyopia in adults, there are a couple of things to consider.
- The first thing to consider is the main cause of the amblyopic eye. It is thus essential to observe whether the case is triggered by eye misalignment, refractive errors, or eye diseases that block vision as a newborn or child. Most commonly, lasik surgeries are performed as a treatment for eye with refractive errors. If someone is suffering from this problem and are unable to wear eye glasses or contact lenses comfortably due to a major difference in both eyes’ refractive errors, lasik surgeries can be performed to improve the condition. Laser vision correction or lasik is commonly performed on the eye with a high prescription in cases of mild amblyopia, so that the weaker eye can be less dependent on eye glasses. However, lasik surgery does not remove amblyopia to the eye thoroughly. In most cases of persistent amblyopia, lasik surgery is only able to refine the visions of an amblyopic eye to the level where it can achieve with glasses prescription. Thus, it is not possible for this surgery to restore the entire visual ability. However, many people are benefited with this fact that even though they have to wear glasses to see clearly, their weaker eye is at least can be employed and work together with the other eye.
- The age of the patient also holds an important role in the improvements amblyopia treatments may provide. Many researches have stated that the earlier the treatments are performed, the more likely the condition can be improved. This is possible as during early childhood our visual system has not fully developed, so that the pathway through which the brain sends optic signals to the eye can still be fixed. When lasik is performed to young children under certain circumstances, it is possible that this pathway can be corrected, so that the risk of developing amblyopia can be minimized. However, the case becomes quite distinctive if the sufferers have reached adulthood, wherein fixing developed visual system is difficult. This is one of the reasons why in adults lasik surgery is not a solution for residual childhood amblyopia problem. Yet, although lasik surgeries in adults are said to have more of cosmetic effects, many people with amblyopia have experienced quite significant progress as this surgery may help correcting misaligned eyes as well as reducing refractive differences between both eyes.