What is Amblyopia?

Lora Parsons, Orthoptist:
Every day I see children with amblyopia. Amblyopia is defined as reduced vision in one or both eyes once pathology has been eliminated and refractive error has been prescribed.

There are a number of causes including a turned eye, refractive error, congenital cataracts – anything that prevents a perfect image to be focused and positioned correctly on the retina. Consequently cells in the brain that receive the message from the retina ‘switch off’.

Amblyopia develops in the first 10 years of life. It is mostly reversible in children under 10 years of age. Patching the ‘good’ eye has been proven over the years to be the most effective treatment to switch the brain cells back on, therefore reverse amblyopia.

Getting a child to wear a patch over their ‘good’ eye is a battle. If the child likes the patch they wear and it is not uncomfortable half the battle is won.

The patchpizazz design has made this battle easier. They comfortably fit over the child’s glasses, eliminate peeking (which children invariably want to do), and have great fun designs to appeal to boys and girls of all ages.