Has your child recently been diagnosed with Amblyopia or what’s known as “lazy eye”? In case you are not familiar with the symptoms, they include head tilting, fumbling when picking up objects, and one eye crossing at times. If your child is struggling with vision problems and you aren’t sure about the next step, Austin Eye Care is one of the top providers of vision care in Austin and can help provide solutions for your pediatric eye care needs. Contact us today for more information.
Although amblyopia is the most common eye disorder in young children, the good news is that it is very treatable, especially if detected early. Here are some simple exercises that can be very effective and lots of fun!
When doing any of the exercises suggested below, patch or cover the dominant eye to dramatically improve the effectiveness of the exercise. Simply patching your stronger eye for 2 to 6 hours a day during regular activity is considered a helpful exercise in and of itself. Covering the dominant eye forces the “lazy” eye to work twice as hard and will strengthen the muscles of the eye.
- Coloring inside the lines
Concentrating on staying within the lines while wearing a patch forces the weaker eye to communicate with the brain, improving function. Your child will welcome the challenge and make an already-fun activity even more enjoyable.
- Airplane exercise
Hold a pencil with the eraser towards the child. Start a few feet away and walk slowly towards the child, coming in for a “landing” close to the nose. With the weaker eye covered, have the child follow the end of the pencil with the uncovered eye. Make noises and do fun patterns and swerves while drawing closer and closer to the target.
- Playing video games
Wait–what?! According to the National Institutes of Health, research has proven that playing video games improves contrast sensitivity and can help improve eyesight functions. You can challenge your child to play games with one eye patched or covered which will not only make things more interesting but strengthen the lazy eye as well. Way to be cool, Mom. (Patch for short segments at a time for a combined total of two hours a day if possible.)
By performing one or more of these exercises daily on a consistent basis, you can expect to see a lessening of the symptoms of amblyopia and an improvement in the eye’s overall performance.
Have you had any experience using any of these exercises personally? Leave your comments below and share to help others. Do you have any questions pertaining to amblyopia or other eye concerns? Austin Eye Care is a leading provider of pediatric eye care and general vision care in the Austin area. Contact us today for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!