Can LASIK Correct Lazy Eye?
LASIK eye surgery is one of the most popular treatments for various eye issues. It can significantly improve eyesight and remove flaws. If children with lazy eye disease do not receive treatment while young, they often lose some or all of their vision in that eye as adults. If the weak eye has a refractive defect, LASIK might be able to improve vision.
You can have LASIK eye surgery to treat the signs of a lazy eye if you struggle with amblyopia caused to vision impairment. LASIK eye surgery can relieve pressure on the dominant eye by decreasing the size of the eye pupils. A balanced prescription in both eyes can minimize Amblyopia-related challenges.
However, LASIK only treats some types of amblyopia. It only shows promise as a treatment for lazy eye symptoms arising from a refractive error.
What Causes a Lazy Eye?
Amblyopia or lazy eye is brought on by a severe strength disparity between the eyes while young. The brain uses the dominant eye to receive visual input when one eye can’t keep up with the other. This prevents the weaker eye from having the opportunity to mature properly through consistent use.
Strabismus or misaligned eyes are not the same as lazy eyes. A lazy eye may be accompanied by strabismus, although not always. During your routine eye exam, your eye doctor will let you know whether you have a lazy eye. Amblyopia comes in three forms: strabismus amblyopia, refractive amblyopia, and deprivation amblyopia.
This lazy eye presents when one eye has much worse refractive problems than the other. The less powerful could develop a lazy eye.
It can occur when a child’s eye muscles are weak to enable natural eye movement. The eye with the less developed muscles may shift away from the other eye. Lack of use leads to the misaligned eye developing improperly and becoming challenging to manage.
It is also known as obstructed amblyopia and is one of the most severe cases of amblyopia. It usually occurs early in life when an eye is injured or diseased. The brain may respond by immediately shutting down the pathways to that eye. It also may present in the elderly due to age-related vision issues, such as cataracts or other conditions.
Deprivation Amblyopia needs urgent treatment to prevent the affected eye from losing all of its vision.
Can LASIK Treat a Lazy Eye?
The laser eye procedure LASIK enhances eyesight by addressing refractive vision problems. LASIK can help fix amblyopia only if the condition arises from the difference in refractive error between the two eyes, i.e., refractive amblyopia. Your prescriptions can become more similar after LASIK surgery, which will lessen any problems arising from one eye having to work harder than the other.
Even though LASIK isn’t a surefire cure for refractive amblyopia, it can play a significant role in overcoming refractive amblyopia. The finest results from LASIK come when combined with additional amblyopia treatments that encourage your brain to begin recognizing the improved vision in the lazy eye.
However, Laser eye surgery is unlikely to help if amblyopia stems from obstructed vision or crossed/ misaligned eyes. Further, LASIK doesn’t apply to minors, so it isn’t an amblyopia treatment option for kids.
Can Adults Get Treatment for Lazy Eye?
Adults with lazy eyes may receive treatment, but it’s much more challenging to treat if it’s not identified early. Typically, adults respond to vision therapy less quickly or more ineffectively than children. However, some amblyopia-related treatment options only relate to adults. For instance, LASIK is only an option for those at least 18 years and whose eyes have been stable for a specific period.
How to Know if LASIK Can Help with Your Lazy Eye
Inquiring with your eye doctor is the only method to find out if LASIK can lessen the effects of your lazy eye. Before making any recommendations regarding LASIK as a repair, your doctor will want to examine you in person to verify the condition of your eyes. The information provided by your doctors can help determine if LASIK looks like a worthwhile therapy for you.
The Ideal Patient for LASIK Surgery
If you meet the following criteria, you are a great candidate for LASIK surgery for your lazy eye:
- Have little to no strabismus
- Have a vision in the lazy eye, at least partially
- Do not have a significant strength differential between your eyes
- Want to improve vision issues in the lazy eye or lessen the double vision it is producing
Ask your eye doctor about LASIK for your lazy eye if you believe this list applies to you. If you decide to have the procedure, they will help you to understand what to expect.
Effectiveness of LASIK for Lazy Eyes
Regrettably, not all cases of refractive amblyopia respond well to LASIK surgery. Older folks may find it more challenging to correct lazy eye symptoms because vision therapy becomes less effective with time. Treatments are most effective when they produce a better balance between the prescriptions in the two eyes. You may require additional therapies to eradicate the signs of a lazy eye.
It’s crucial to remember that most LASIK procedures apply to adults at least 18 years old. Laser eye surgery isn’t indicated for amblyopia in children. Their eyes have not yet been stable for long enough to identify the appropriate course of treatment they require.
Alternative to LASIK for Treatment of Lazy Eye
You can attempt other therapies if LASIK is ineffective or you cannot afford the procedure. Contact lenses or spectacles are the only other options for lazy eyes in adults. They enhance your eyesight and help to address some vision issues. Glasses and contact lenses are only effective if the vision loss in your lazy eye is not severe.
Children’s treatments for lazy eyes have a higher success rate since their developing brains continue through early adulthood. For kids, doctors can use a variety of therapy modalities, such as:
- Eye patches
- Eye muscle surgery
- Eyeglasses, if the lazy eye arises from a significant refractive error
- Atropine eyedrops, which can help to reduce vision in the stronger eye
- A Bangerter filter, a special filter on the lens that moderates vision in the stronger eye
The sooner these treatments are put into effect, the better. Children with lazy eyes who receive prompt treatment while their brains are still developing are less likely to experience the visual loss that makes this issue so challenging to treat in adults.