September 14, 2005 at 1:48 PM CDT - Updated July 26 at 5:32 PM
Lazy Eye Treatment By: Wendy Ray
Three out of every 100 people suffer with amblyopia, also known as lazy eye. Lazy eye can develop in early childhood. Standard treatment involves putting a patch over the strong eye, forcing a child to use his or her weak eye, but a Cape Girardeau optometrist uses a different therapy.
Nine year old Dawlton Gifford suffers with amblyopia, or lazy eye, in his right eye. "Whenever I take off my glasses and scratch my eye this eye goes ballistic and I can't see well in this eye," Dawlton says. Dr. Sean de Jager says pleoptic therapy will help restore the strength in Dawlton's eye. "The line of sight that normally goes to the fovea is what enables 20/20, in a lazy eye the line of sight doesn't go to the fovea," Dr. de Jager says.
The fovea is a tiny spot on the back of the eye; a lazy eye goes away from the fovea. Pleoptic therapy trains the line of site to go back to the center. "We're teaching the fovea to look at the dot and at the same time teach the fovea to centralize the line of projection on the viewed image," Dr. de Jager says.
Dawlton can see better 20 minutes after the therapy. This was Dawlton's first treatment; he'll need one more. Some children need three or four treatments. Early childhood is the best time to treat lazy eye.