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  • Jim Hutchins, OD, FAAO

    Agree, but for God sake, DON’T call it “lazy eye”!! Whoever coined that stupid, idiotic term ought to be taken out and shot. 99.999% of laypersons are certain lazy eye means that the eye turns or wanders or droops, or some other obvious appearance you’d notice from across the room. This reinforces the myth that “if my kid has lazy eye, we’ll know right away”. This vast, ubiquitous misunderstanding is a huge contributing factor for our horrible, abysmal  track record for intercepting this in a timely manner and fixing it. 1 out of 30 kids has it, its the leading cause of permanent vision loss in people under the age of 50, and no one has ever heard the term amblyopia (but they’ve all heard about lazy eye, but don’t have a clue what it really means). Amblyopia should be a household word, everyone should clearly understand that it is extremely important for ALL kids to be evaluated for it -by an eye doctor, not a pediatrician, not by a PCP, not by a school nurse.- at least by age 3. NO ONE knows this. The vast majority of the time, we don’t intercept amblyopia until the kid is in school and fail a school screening (school screenings and preschool screenings are a little bit better than nothing, but not much!). The later we intercept amblyopia, the less likely we are to successfully treat it. The consequences of that are subnormal vision in one eye for life that isn’t fixable with lenses or surgery, and poor depth perception for life. We are no better at catching this now than we were 60 years ago, and the public awareness of this is no better than it was 60 years ago, either. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for this...

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