Lazy Eye in Adults

There are a lot of vision problems which afflict adults. These include glaucoma, astigmatism and many others. One most people don’t think of as being a problem for adults is strabismus, better known as lazy eye. The common misconception is that this vision problem is only something that children experience, but that really isn’t true.

A lot of adults also have lazy eye, and some don’t even know it, even though it effects their ability to concentrate on what they’re reading. We’ll be discussing lazy eye in adults.

What is Lazy Eye?

Lazy eye is a very common eye problem which typically occurs during early childhood. It is a problem in which the eyes cannot stay focused on something. One eye may cross in when it really shouldn’t have.

It’s an inability for the eyes to work together and focus the correct way, caused by the eyes being misaligned. Some adults don’t have lazy eye until they’re in their teens or have reached adulthood. If they get it during childhood, it usually goes away on its own.

What Causes Lazy Eye?

There is no known cause for strabismus. However, it is common for someone who have lazy eye if a relative also has it. That’s why some people think it is a genetic issue which is passed on, but that’s not exactly a fair statement as lazy eye has been shown to also develop because the eye is trying to compensate for other vision problems, like near or farsightedness.

Adults may develop lazy eye due to having a medical condition or from having eye or blood vessel damage. It is common for adults to develop lazy eye because of having Graves disease, loss of vision, a brain tumor, stroke or other nerve disorders.

What are the Symptoms?

Because lazy eye isn’t a very serious health problem, it has very subtle symptoms. An adult who has lazy eye may have an eye which tends to droop down and not look like it is focused, may be unable to read things without his or her eyes becoming strained, and may have headaches. Double vision may also occur, though this is only in the very beginning stages. Sensitivity to light is also a common symptom of lazy eye in adults.

How is Lazy Eye Diagnosed?

Eye doctors perform a series of “focus” tests in which they see if the eyes are able to focus on an object without “crossing in”. These tests reveal whether or not there is lazy eye present.

Does it Go Away on it’s Own?

With childhood lazy eye, it commonly does go away on its own. However, adults who have lazy eye usually have it for the rest of their life.

How is Lazy Eye Treated?

Lazy eye is usually best treated by the use of glasses. An eye doctor may tell you to wear corrective glasses only when reading, unless you have other existing eye problems which warrant wearing glasses all the time.

Sometimes surgery may be necessary to adequately correct lazy eye, while for some, patches and medicine work just fine. It is important to discuss all the options with your eye doctor.