A lazy eye can cause vision problems that last a lifetime, this health video focus' on ways to correct it.
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Jennifer Mathews: Ashlyn Guimond's blurred vision was discovered at day care. Michelle Scearce: When she was coloring, she was always real low to the paper trying to focus in on it. Jennifer Mathews: The diagnosis, amblyopia, a condition where the brain favors one eye over the other. Traditional treatment is to patch the strong eye to strengthen the weak one. Dr. David Wallace: As you can imagine many children, particularly older ones, don't tolerate patching very well. They get teased, they have skin irritation. Parents often find that they've taken the patch off after two or three hours. Jennifer Mathews: A nationwide study found that eye drops of a drug called atropine work just as well as the patch. Michelle puts one drop a day in Ashlyn's strong eye, which causes it to dilate and blur. Dr. David Wallace: When the vision is blurred in one eye it then forces the child, subconsciously to switch fixation to the other eye, because the eye that doesn't see as well then becomes the better seeing eye. Jennifer Mathews: After nearly a year-and-a-half of using the drops, Ashlyn's lazy eye is working harder and her vision is getting better. Michelle Scearce: When we started it was 20/60. By the end of last year, it was up to about 20/30. Jennifer Mathews: Ashlyn, who would pull a patch off has adjusted well to the drops. Michelle Scearce: It's just like brushing your teeth. It's a habit now. Jennifer Mathews: And that means Michelle can avoid keeping a constant eye on her daughter. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.