• I lost sight from a corneal scar as a child. Now that I’m older, will a corneal transplant help me?


    Question:

    I lost most of the sight in one eye due to a corneal ulcer when I was about 2 years old. My parents were always told that I could eventually have a corneal transplant, but they wanted to wait until I was older. Now, as an adult, they tell me it is too late because I lost partial vision when I was young, before my sight was fully developed. My brain did not learn to process vision from that eye properly. Can you tell me if this sounds correct?


    Answer:

    It is true that if vision has not been restored by the ages of 8 or 9, the brain will begin to ignore that eye. This process is referred to as amblyopia (or lazy eye). Various types of amblyopia exist, and if the cornea is cloudy from a scar at an early age, form deprivation amblyopia (when an eye is “deprived” of vision due to obstruction) occurs. If this is not repaired by those ages, vision loss remains permanent. Your physician is correct that if you have never had good vision in that eye after the corneal scar, a corneal transplant will not help improve vision.


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