Lazy eye also called as amblyopia onsets during childhood. It happens when one eye of the child doesn’t develop like the other one. It affects the focusing ability, where one eye has better focusing capability than the other. As a result, when the brain gets both blurred and clear images from the weak and strong eye respectively, it ignores the blurred image and focuses only on the clear one. Persistent occurrence of this, for few months or a year worsens the condition.
The blurring of the image could also be due to minor cataract or blood creating the blockage. There could be underlying conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism as well.
Treatment usually begins with correcting the underlying conditions mentioned before. Some might need glasses and in case of cataract, a surgery might be required. These are followed by one or a combination of below natural remedies.
How To Get Rid Of A Lazy Eye Naturally
1. Using An Eye Patch
The child is usually given an eye patch to wear on the strong eye. He/she might find it challenging at the beginning to focus with the weak eye. But, the idea behind this is to make the child learn to focus with the weak eye, so that the brain identifies the images. The process might take few weeks or months. After which, the doctor examines and lets you know if the child should continue to wear the patch, or if the vision is as expected.
Once the child starts using both the eyes, the focus might again get shifted to the stronger eye, in which a case, a patch might be required again. There are various patches with cartoon characters available which could interest your child. You could also make a DIY pirate patch or one with his favorite superhero on it, just so your kid feels excited about wearing it.
2. Practicing Eye Exercises
Practicing certain eye exercises stimulates the muscles of the eyes and brain, correcting their focusing ability. These exercises are done with the eye patch on. Some of them are:
- Eye Rolls: This exercise involves rolling the weak eye in a circular motion. Few counts of clockwise and anticlockwise motions help strengthen the eye muscles and stimulate the brain.
- Eye Tracking: Eye tracking is a technique where a solid object like a pen is tracked through the weak eye as the object moves. The pen is moved left to right, up and down, diagonally, and back and forth, with lazy eye tracking its motion. Care should be taken to ensure the neck doesn’t move and only the weak eye moves while tracking. This technique benefits the lazy eye by strengthening its muscles and reinforcing the connection between the brain and the eyes.
- Focusing: A solid object like a pencil is focussed for a span of few minutes continuously during a focusing exercise. This, like eye tracking, builds communication between the eye and the brain, making brain recognize the image strongly.
- Fine Print Reading: Reading a fine print can be a challenging task. This activity makes the lazy eye to work better, stimulating the brain. Tasks like solving a jigsaw puzzle, crossword puzzle, reading comic books, and other similar games could also enhance the capabilities of the weak eye.
3. Having Diet Rich In Vitamin-A
A lot of studies have shown the correlation between the role of vitamin-A in eyesight. A deficiency of this could cause various vision-related problems. Research shows that having carrots, squashes, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, lettuce, dried apricots, fish, liver, bell peppers, and tropical fruits can greatly help overcome the deficiency. These, in some cases, might not help lazy eye directly, but will surely help overcome underlying problems like farsightedness or nearsightedness.
With early diagnosis and treatment, most children will regain the lost vision. Some studies show that it gets difficult to cure after the child is above 7–9 years of age. Some children do not tend to use the patch continuously, which obstructs the treatment process. In such cases, the parents should make sure they monitor the usage accurately.