Your child is most likely to be diagnosed with lazy eye during a vision exam. Every child should have a complete eye exam between ages 3 and 5. If your child is in this age range or has any symptoms of eye or vision problems, make an appointment with your doctor. He or she may refer you to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist or optometrist).
What you can do
To prepare for your appointment:
- Make a note of any other medical issues. Include any other eye problems your child has had.
- Make a list of all medications and dosages your child is taking. Include any prescription and nonprescription drugs, vitamins, or other supplements.
- Write down any allergies. Include medications, food or other substances to which your child may have an allergy.
- Include family history. Tell the doctor about any family history of eye problems, such as lazy eye, cataracts or glaucoma.
- Prepare questions. Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together.
Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Does my child have lazy eye?
- Other than lazy eye, is there any other possible diagnosis?
- If this is lazy eye, what is the likely cause?
- Is lazy eye associated with any other health conditions?
- What treatment options are most likely to help my child?
- How much improvement can we expect with treatment?
- Is my child at risk of other eye-related or non-eye-related complications from this condition?
- Is my child at risk of a recurrence of this condition?
- What treatment options are available if there is a recurrence?
- How often should my child be seen for follow-up visits?
- When would you recommend seeing another specialist, such as a pediatric ophthalmologist?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
In addition to questions you've prepared in advance, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment anytime you don't understand something.
Jul. 03, 2013
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- Facts about amblyopia. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/amblyopia/amblyopia_guide.asp. Accessed April 28, 2013.
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- Taylor K, et al. Interventions for unilateral and bilateral refractive amblyopia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005137.pub3/abstract. Accessed April 23, 2013.
- Matta MS, et al. Evidence-based medicine: Treatment for amblyopia. American Orthoptic Journal. 2010;60:17.
- Suttle CM. Active treatments for amblyopia: A review of the methods and evidence base. Clinical and Experimental Optometry. 2010;93:287.