Words – spoken or written are potent. They can make or break a situation, they may guide us or mislead. Despite a few reservations, they are crucial to existence. Hence it would have made total sense to be wary and mindful and honest when using them. But these days words are casually used, substituted anyhow we see fit, leaving behind incomprehensible confusing trails. In that context, the word ‘lazy’ is now commonly abused as well. For example, take the condition ‘Lazy Eye’.
As the name suggests it’s an eye condition in which the brain supports function in one eye and the other eye that is referred to as lazy is ignored by the brain. What really happens is that due to various reasons the nerve pathways between the eye and brain is hampered, and the brain doesn’t actively respond to the signals from that eye, despite the efforts that the organ puts in. So in effect, it isn’t really the eye condition and definitely not laziness. The brain then starts working more with the other eye, and the weaker eye has a lesser vision and over time can lead to partial or complete blindness. This condition is also and more appropriately known as Amblyopia and usually occurs in children.
Since the brain favors the stronger eye, the vision seems normal and initially, the condition may not become apparent. But a few symptoms to look out for are:
- If one keeps running into things from one side
- An eye that wanders inward or outwards
- Bad depth perception
- When both your eyes don’t seem to be working together
- Double vision or squinting
What can cause this disruption in the pathway? Various reasons actually, conditions like astigmatism (near-sightedness or farsightedness), crossed eye or misaligned eyes due to muscle imbalance or even cataract or glaucoma. Family history is included as a risk factor as well, along with premature birth and development problems.
Sometimes symptoms may not be enough to ascertain the condition and diagnosis is done based on clinical eye testing. So a routine eye exam would be conducted to gauge the functioning of eyes. And once ascertained treatment can begin.
This condition is definitely correctable, but time is of the essence. It is known that the sooner it is diagnosed and treated the better your chances of the lazy eye becoming active and competent like the other eye increase. As you can guess treatment strategy involves working on strengthening the weaker eye and correcting any underlying issues. Surgery for correcting any muscular imbalance or drooping eyelids or cataract. Corrective eyewear (glasses or contact lenses) in case of near-sightedness or farsightedness. Specifically for this condition,
- Eye patches: on the stronger eye, so that the brain starts to collect signals from the weaker eye, and with use, the problem will get corrected. It’s suggested to do that for a couple of hours.
- Eye drops: similar to eye patches, the vision is the stronger eye is blurred by using some eye drops, giving the other eye a chance to play catch up.
Time will heal what it hampered, you only need to be consistent. Also make sure to follow-up with regular check-ups in between to ensure the balance between both the eyes is maintained.
In the end, balance is what is required in life, in the way we use our words and how we act upon them, so as not to be mislabelled lazy or anything else.