amblyopia induced eye strain!?

Discussion in 'Eye-Care' started by Jeremy Pitkin, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. greetings,
    i have a quick question regarding amblyopia. at the age of five, i
    was diagnosed with the dreaded lazy eye. consequently i was put on an
    eye-patch regiment, but it was not successful. despite the amblyopia,
    i have never worn glasses. I (who know little of optics) attribute
    this to wholesale compensation from my left eye, and perhaps my brain
    is ignoring the signals received via the right eye.. with the
    exception of rounding out my peripheral vision. as far as my current
    vision goes, my left eye is near perfect while my right eye can best
    be described as grainy and slightly dimmed (not near/far sighted).
    when both eyes are open, i see perfectly fine. however, i am
    increasingly troubled by eye strain in the lazy eye. this is often
    triggered by long bouts of reading and/or time spent on the computer.
    i also believe that my increased preoccupation and general
    paranoia/innate fear of blindness are contributing factors :)

    my questions are the following:
    1.are there any effective treatments for the eye strain incurred at
    the hands of my lazy eye? (i am under the impression that
    glasses/contacts cannot correct the eye itself..)
    2.does amblyopia typically progress with age, and if so are there
    preventative steps one can take? (at the time of this post, i am 20).

    any other suggestions are also welcome..
    thank you in advance for your help,

    jeremy pitkin
     
    Jeremy Pitkin, Dec 5, 2003
    #1
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  2. Jeremy Pitkin

    John H. Guest

    Incredible, I have exactly the same problem, excellent left eye, only right
    field vision in right eye from amblyopia. I have experienced the same
    problem many times and have approached 4 different specialists but no-one
    has been able to provide any guidance. Only 3 months ago had full eye exam
    and said eyesight in my left eye is excellent. Still for months now I have
    been battling with this problem. I am an avid reader, or more correctly am
    until this problem emerges. I have never been able to discern a pattern to
    it but certainly lots of reading increases the problem and only solution I
    have found is a big rest from reading; particularly the computer. For some
    reason the computer seems much more impacting than reading hard copy.

    One thing I tried in the past was wearing a patch while doing close work. It
    might be worth a try. Sometimes there is residual recovery of vision in the
    damaged eye and I wonder if this is creating a problem for visual
    processing. In my case I am confident that the vision in my right eye has
    increased marginally over the years. Perhaps a glare monitor will help. I
    first had serious trouble with the problem when I purchased my first
    computer. I then visited Queensland's leading opthalamo at the time and he
    could offer no solution. However I thought about it and decided with my next
    computer I would find the best monitor around.That seemed to work and when I
    saw the same doc 3 years ago he looked at me puzzled and said, "you're
    eyesight has improved!". I knew it had but damned if I can achieve the same
    result now. However, in the past I found the Bates exercises very good for
    the problem.

    I agree that increased preoccupation with the condition seems to make
    matters worse.

    I also will be very interested in hear what others have to say about this
    because it drives me crazy not being able to maintain my reading level. It
    is not uncommon for me to spend 10 hours a day reading and studying but over
    the last 6 months that has all but disappeared. However my work requires
    lots of reading and the whole problem is very despairing. It became really
    bad last year because one place I was working required continuous computer
    work on a lousy monitor with only DOS boxes for viewing. This made my vision
    very bad and I believe it precipitated what is now an ongoing problem some
    18 months later.

    As to ignoring signals, not in my case at least, I have noted on a few
    occasions that my attention is caught by objects in my right peripheral
    field but I am not conscious of seeing these things until they are brought
    to my attention. Hence my idea that while the brain may be suppressing the
    image from the right eye, it is also having to work hard to do this task and
    when fatigue sets in well ... .

    PS: my first bout with this problem began around your age.

    John H.
     
    John H., Dec 5, 2003
    #2
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  3. Jeremy Pitkin

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    (Jeremy Pitkin) wrote in
    Amblyopia is more likely to occur in a farsighted child, in the more
    farsighted of the two eyes. Over the years I have seen a number of adult
    patients whose amblyopic eye was farsighted, who presented with problems
    related to reading. Despite the fact that a corrective lens did not result
    in a significant improvement in the vision, the discomfort seems to have
    been eliminated with a corrective lens. It is probably the case that there
    is some visual contribution from the amblyopic eye.

    Since you are aware of vision in the amblyopic eye with both eyes are open,
    it is probably the case that the early treatment improved the visual
    awareness in that eye, but without the desired improvement in central
    acuity. Of course, it could also be the case that your good eye has a
    small amount of refractive error as well.

    Amblyopia does not get worse with age in an adult, unless of course there
    is some organic problem. Although this might seem like a morbid thing to
    say, I think that your situation would be better if you had no sight in the
    amblyopic eye - not that I would wish for such a thing. You might try a
    patch. If you aren't certain whether there is any existing refractive
    error, you might want to go for another examination and ask the doctor
    specifically.

    DrG
     
    Dr. Leukoma, Dec 5, 2003
    #3
  4. Jeremy Pitkin

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    See my reply to Jeremy.

    In strabismic amblyopia, a zone of suppression typically develops, in order
    to prevent diplopia, or double vision. I would guess that your right eye
    turns in. It is probably the case that at the computer distance, the
    screen is within the peripheral awareness of the right field of the right
    eye, whereas closer in, the reading material is seen only by the left eye,
    and so there is no interference from the right eye. It is common for a
    child with a binocular vision problem, such as intermittent exotropia or
    convergence insufficiency, to hold the book extremely close so that it
    cannot be comfortably viewed by both eyes. This will automatically cause
    one eye to drift out. It is an adaptive coping mechanism.

    Your solution might indeed involve patching the amblyopic eye, wearing an
    occlusive contact lens, or experimentation with prism to displace the
    image. The fact that the vision seems to fluctuate in that eye also
    suggests that some hyperopic refractive error might be present.

    DrG
     
    Dr. Leukoma, Dec 5, 2003
    #4
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