Should my child wear glasses if he has amblyopia in both eyes?
MAY 25, 2017
My 4-year-old son was diagnosed with bilateral amblyopia (lazy eye in both eyes) due to astigmatism (irregularly shaped corneas) in both eyes. The doctor said he has 20/40 vision, which is OK, so he wants to wait on glasses for a year. He says we have until age 7 to train his eyes and he wants to see how his eyes develop. Should I get a second opinion about whether or not to hold off on the glasses? What does it mean to have this in both eyes since I have only ever heard of a single lazy eye? Is one eye still stronger than the other?
Bilateral amblyopia can happen if high refractive errors in both eyes go uncorrected. It is an uncommon type of amblyopia, and it usually affects only one eye. For bilateral amblyopia caused by uncorrected high refractive errors, the treatment is glasses and the vision usually normalizes. If the doctor is worried that bilateral amblyopia is going to develop because the prescription is high, glasses are definitely needed.
Uncorrected vision of 20/40 in each eye in a 4-year-old is "passing" if the child was screened in a pediatrician's office. So, leaving your child out of glasses is reasonable. However, if your child is having any difficulty seeing at distance or near, having any troubles with school (likely preschool), or with reading or watching television, I would prescribe glasses at this time, in spite of his 20/40 vision.