Lazy Eye

Image of a little girl wearing an eyepatch and smiling.

Lazy eye, also referred to as amblyopia, is a condition that develops in infancy or early childhood, and it typically starts when the focus in one eye is more enhanced than the other. The eye with less focus might be impaired due to a significant amount of farsightedness or astigmatism, or something could be obstructing light from getting through like a cataract or debris in the back of the eye. Amblyopia may also develop due to an ocular misalignment known as strabismus, in which one eye turns inward or outward, keeping the eyes from focusing together on an object. This can cause double vision.

How Lazy Eye Effects Your Vision

In all of these cases, the brain receives two different images—be it one blurry and one sharp visual of the same object, or two completely different visuals. In order to compensate, the brain, over time, learns to ignore the image it receives from the impaired or deviated eye, causing vision in that eye to weaken to the point of permanent visual deficiency.

A complete eye exam is recommended for all children between the ages 3 and 5. However, if your child is younger and you have a family history of amblyopia, or notice that his or her eye wanders inward or outward, or if the eyes do not appear to work in unison, it is important that you seek out an opthalmologist or optometrist sooner.

A lazy eye can be corrected and vision can be gained with eye patches, eye drops, prisms, contact lenses, glasses, surgery, or vision therapy if a diagnosis is made early and treatment is administered. Amblyopia is more challenging to treat after the child has passed the age of 7 or 9.

To determine whether your child has lazy eye, a complete eye exam will be needed. The child’s optometrist will look for a wandering eye and assess the vision of both eyes, looking specifically for poor vision in one or both. Tests may include:

  • Looking for cataracts or debris behind the eye(s) using a lighted magnifying device
  • Photo screening
  • Remote autorefraction
  • Putting a patch over each eye and having the child look at picture or letters
  • Examining the eyes’ ability to gaze, fixate on and follow a moving object

Treatment for Lazy Eye

Regarding treatment, the first step may be to rectify any underlying problems in the “bad” eye before applying a patch over the normal functioning eye. While the child will have difficulty seeing with only the weaker eye at first, vision will eventually improve as the brain is forced to use it. This can take weeks or months.

If the child’s amblyopia is mild, the optometrist might solely recommend using atropine in the functioning eye, rather than wearing a patch. The eye drop helps dilate the pupil and blurs the vision in the normal working eye, which causes the malfunctioning eye to do most of the heavy lifting, figuratively speaking.

Many children with a lazy eye will also need glasses or contact lenses to assist with focusing. Should the child have a cataract or debris behind the eye that is blocking light from getting in, surgery may be needed to remove the blockage. Surgery or visual therapy may also be needed if strabismus is present and severe. Operating on the muscles of the eye, or performing certain eye exercises, will allow the eyes to move together.

Location

Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

We are closed for lunch daily from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Brier Creek Vision Care

Monday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tuesday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wednesday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Thursday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Friday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonial

  • "Excellent office. Staff is helpful and polite when dealing with my special needs child. They understand when he needs break and how to redirect to another technique to achieve goal. Would highly recommend to others!"
    Jennifer, Raleigh, NC
  • "I needed an eye doctor to see me for my concussion issue that effected my eyesight. There isn't many who are able to assess. Dr. Durham knew just how to work with my case in a gentle manner to help keep me calm. I finally have hope for healing now."
    Elizabeth 3/15/19 - Answer to Prayer
  • "Dr Durham is amazing. She takes the time to hear the patient and is extemely knowlegable."
    Susan 3/16/19 - Amazing
  • "All the staff were very helpful & Susan Durham was very thorough & professional"
    Jill 3/14/19
  • "Dr. Durham and her staff are the best and most knowledgeable dealing with brain injuries. Highly recommended!"
    Kristina 3/11/19 - Absolutely the best!
  • "Thought exam was personal, deteilrd and fully explained. Staff were prompt, kind, snd professional. I’d recommend Dr. Durham’s clinic to anyone needing eye care."
    Thomas 3/10/19
  • "The staff was very polite and extremely patient with my condition. Very specific about my condition and caring to help me recover. We will have a long road to recovery together."
    Elizabeth 3/11/19
  • "Didn't have to wait. Very thorough eye exam."
    Sandy 3/7/19 - Great eye checkup
  • "My visit was more than I could of asked for. I told my friends about my visit to the future. Dr. Dunham was extremely knowledgeable, concerned and determined to get it right, Her staff seemed to respect her greatly. staff was trained very well and gave me the confidence they knew what they were doing.
    I have already told my friends about my visit to the future."
    Patricia 2/24/19 - Everything was perfect.
  • "My daughter and I have have had great experiences at Brier Creek Vision! Dr. N. Is fantastic!! The office staff is super friendly, accommodating and very pleasurable to work with. Eye glass frames are plentiful and the opticians are helpful, suggestive and patient! Thanks to everyone for making all of visits wonderful!!"
    Cynthia 2/14/19 – Great Experience
  • "Dr Nakagawara is open, friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Karim Glover in the optical dispensary took great care in explaining and helping me to get great value on a new set of prescription sunglasses that will do much more than my previous set. Extremely happy.
    Loved the Optician!"
    Thomas 2/22/19 - Great Doctors and Team...
  • "I cannot tell you how happy I am with Brier Creek Vision. Everyone from the moment you enter, all the way through the appointment, is knowledgeable friendly and caring. I receive excellent and professional care. Highly recommend!"
    Helen 2/21/19 - Excellent care
  • "Went from 20/30 to 20/20! The sky is the limit with dr Patel. Will continue to bring both my kids here...."
    Temidayo 2/17/19 - Dr Patel Rocks!!!!
  • "I have had nothing but amazing experiences here! The entire staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. I have never walked away unsatisfied."
    Shelby 2/14/19 - Awesome!
  • "This office has all of the latest equipment and skills to take care of your eyes."
    Wales 2/6/19 - Great eye care!
  • "The atmosphere in the office is very pleasant and welcoming. I always feel comfortable in both the waiting room and the exam rooms. Selecting glasses is also a breeze, as the staff is extremely helpful and knowledgable."
    Kris 1/31/19 - Amazing Experience
  • "Our family visit was over the top. The entire staff took their time and made sure each and everyone's exam was through. No pressure to buy glasses. Our experience with Dr. Nakagawara was outstanding!!"
    Melissa 1/31/19 - Recommend
  • "I always have the best visit at Brier Creek Vision. My Doctor, Esther Nakagawara, is the best at what she does! She handles the procedures with care, caution and concern, explains well and has the best solutions to keep your eyes healthy. The staff is accommodating, patient and very kind to everyone; they never mind answering questions. The opticians are helpful in assisting with the selection of eyecare that looks good and works the best for you. I have told many people about my positive experiences at Brier Creek Vision and recommended this office as well."
    Kailah 1/30/19 - The Best in Eyeccare!!
  • "My family and I have been patients of Brier Creek Vision for 2 years. Dr. Nakagawara is a very caring and skilled OD who communicates, teaches and plans well. The staff and optometrists are inviting, knowledgeable and very helpful. We have recommended BCV to all our friends and family!"
    Cynthia 1/30/19 - Highly recommend
  • "I was thrilled to learn about the new Shaw lens concept to treat my daughter's amblyopia!"
    Molly 1/30/19 - Excellent Experience