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Ophthalmology & Optometry/Treatment for defected lens from birth

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Question
I am 32 years old. I was born with an eye defect that was only picked up when I was 5. I have extremely poor vision in my right eye. I can only see a bit of white where the eye test poster is and absolutely nothing on it. At first they assumed I had a lazy eye and I had to wear glasses and then an eye patch to exercise the eye. Neither helped. I then saw a specialist and he said nothing could be done. This was around 1987/88. When I was about 16 I went to see an optometrist again. He examined my eye by putting drops in to dilate the pupil. His conclusion was that an essential building block in the development of my lens was missing when my eye developed. He said there was nothing I could do and that I should expect my eye to become visibly "lazy" when I got older. At this stage I was lucky in that my eye did not drift and looked focused. It seems now though that my eye is rapidly getting worse. It drifts when I am even slightly tired. It also seems a bit larger than my good eye, maybe due to being more relaxed by not being utilized. Obviously this affects me negatively. I have also noticed that when I cover my good eye, I have almost clear vision in the very periphery of the sight in my bad eye. I can see the lines on my fingers, whereas directly in front of me I can not see anything more than a blur. I have only picked up on this now as it is in the very extreme of my periphery vision. I never told a specialist that because I wasn't aware. I have two questions. Is it possible that over the last 16 years there has been a development in treatment for defective eye lenses? Should I bother going to see an optometrist or is it unlikely that there is now a treatment? The last time I saw a specialist was in South Africa in about 1996 or 1997. I have read about Lasik but I don't see anything that has to do with what I seem to have. My second question is, in the event that my eye will never be treatable, would it be possible that exercising it will improve the drifting? I've started by spending half an hour a day with my good eye covered. I know this won't cure the vision problems, I just don't want to end up with a wall eye. I also don't want to keep doing it if it isn't going to help at all. I am already a headache and migraine sufferer and the eye exercising hurts afterwards too. I don't want to be giving myself torture and false hope. I hope you can help and that I gave enough information!

Answer
Hi Melissa,
Sadly there isn't much new for lazy eyes, and there isn't much hope for a case like yours. you can work with an eye doctor to try eye exercises and tasks to help keep the lazy eye from drifting more, though it may not work. I would urge being careful, mindful of injury avoidance and eye safety and taking good care of the good eye.  I'm sorry not to be of more help for you.
Best regards,
Mitch Axelrod, OD

Ophthalmology & Optometry

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Mitchell Axelrod

Expertise

I'm happy to answer questions about eye exam findings and procedures, glasses and contact lens types/prescriptions/problems. I can also answer questions about general eye conditions/diseases. I do not answer questions concerning surgical techniques/procedures. Please state your age or within a small range when asking questions, as it is often important.

Experience

Optometrist 19 yrs.

Education/Credentials
Doctor of Optometry, cum laude; Residency in Ocular Disease

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