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Dr. A.S. Desai
Dr. A.S. Desai, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2437
Experience:  MS Ophthalmology with 13 years of surgical expereince
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My 3 yr old son was diagnosed with bilateral amblyopia 2

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My 3 yr old son was diagnosed with bilateral amblyopia 2 weeks ago. The Dr. said this was due to a refractive error. He has myopia of -2.00 and astigmatism in each eye of 4.5. The only reason I brought him to the Dr. was because he had a slight case of anisocoria and I was concerned about that. I thought he could see perfectly. He had no symptoms. This is all very new to me as I have always had excellent vision. As it turns out, I never knew, but my sister had unilateral amblyopia and was in glasses from age 3 to age 8. Subsequently, she had 20/20 vision and never required glasses until she was 45 for slight presbyopia. (drugstore glasses.) I am waiting on a second opinion, but I tend to think that the pediatric opthalmologist that examined him (chief of pediatric opthalmology at the local children's hospital) is probably correct. My son is in glasses now and it is my understanding that this will teach his brain and eyes to see the correct way and stop and correct any vision loss. I am familiar with Dr. Wallace's study but wonder about the long term results since the study ended at 1 yr. My questions are these : What are the chances my son (who is 100% compliant with wearing his glasses all waking hours) will be completely cured of the amblyopia? Since he will always be in glasses (until he is an adult and can perhaps be corrected by surgery) is there any danger of the amblyopia returning if it is "cured?" What is the average time that 100% visual correction (with glasses) takes? Can the glasses help improve his vision without glasses? His eyeglass prescription is -2.00; 3.75 (axis 110 in OS and 70 OD.) The Dr. said that currently his vision is 20/100 in each eye. Again, there was no indication this child had ANY visual problems and had it not been for the anisocoria (which turned out to be physiological according to the Dr.,) I probably would not have taken him for an eye exam. (Thankfully, I did!)
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. A.S. Desai replied 5 years ago.

Welcome to Just Answer

I can understand your concern here regarding your son's vision. But let me briefly explain a few things here which could perhaps help you to understand his situation better. As you must be aware already , his refractive error is responsible for the amblopia.

there was no indication this child had ANY visual problems- a child of 3 years is unlikely to be symptomatic as in myopia the distance vision alone is reduced while the near vision is good. Moreover with both eyes being myopic, it could not have got noticed

What is the average time that 100% visual correction (with glasses) takes? Amblyopia sets in within 10-12 years of age . If the underlying cause of the amblyopia is corrected within this age along with treatment of the amblyopia , then the vision gets restored completely. So it is crucial for your son to constantly wear his glasses till 12 years . Beyond this age if amblyopia is cured then it is not likely to recur.But chances are that his refractive error would persist and he might need correction for the same. In adulthood he has other options of contact lenses or even laser treatment such as Lasik.

Can the glasses help improve his vision without glasses? No, glasses would not improve vision without glasses but are essential for the treatment of amblyopia. He might even need patching of one eye ( better eye ) intermittently till both eyes have the same vision.

I am glad that you took him to a pediatric ophthalmologist and got the problem detected early.I am sure that his amblyopia will get corrected and his vision will be normal soon even if it means he has to wear glasses in future. Amblyopia if uncorrected is irreversible beyond 12 years of age ( after which there is nothing much that can be done). Early intervention is the key to good prognosis.

Thank you and best wishes.

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