Are you obsessed with celebrity hairstyles and want something equally gorgeous for your child too? TBH most parents want their child to have the trendiest haircut, especially bangs simply because children with bangs look absolutely adorable (or at least I think so).
Bangs also called a fringe are a classic hairstyle that features locks of hair that fall over the forehead, usually just above the eyebrows. However, longer bangs that cover the eyes could impact vision. Well, while a trendy haircut could give your child compliments, confidence, and boost their self-esteem, concerns about its impact on their vision are something that needs to be addressed. There’s a lot of talk about how side bangs or overgrown bangs could cause Amblyopia or Lazy Eyes, and we’re about to put those rumors to rest.
Dr Deepak Garg is one of the best pediatric eye specialists in Mumbai. In this article, he shares his insights on some of the most frequently asked questions on lazy eye.
1. What is lazy eye and can it be treated?
Lazy eye, also known as amblyopia, is a condition that weakens vision in one eye. It occurs in early childhood when visual development is hampered in one or both eyes. In this condition, the brain focuses more on one eye, completely ignoring the weaker eye. If left untreated, the nerve cells responsible for vision will not mature and lead to permanent damage. If your child is diagnosed with amblyopia, treatment is said to be more effective when they’re young. Pediatric Ophthalmologist, Dr Garg explains, “Vision development typically begins after birth and continues to develop until the age of seven or eight years. But if during these years, there’s any form of obstruction to the development of a particular eye, vision in that eye will not develop completely. Yes, it can be treated but only if detected early or any time before your child turns seven years old. After that, it may be too late, and vision correction might prove difficult. Aside from this, there are several reports that claim that lazy eye in adults has been treated. And while this may be true, there’s not much data to support the same.” So well, that leaves us with just one alternative: to start lazy eye treatment before it worsens.
2. What are the symptoms and causes of amblyopia?
“Amblyopia or lazy eye can develop due to several reasons,” says Dr Garg. He further explains that in order to analyze this, one needs to consider all those eye conditions that can obstruct normal visual development. Here’s a beautiful and easy-to-understand example shared by Dr. Garg. He explains, “Let’s say a child has a high eye power in one eye and does not wear his glasses. What happens then? Well, in that case, you’re not allowing that eye, in particular, to see clearly. Now, the eye not seeing properly is not as bad as patching an eye but bad enough to cause further damage. So if your child does have glasses (of a high number) and is not wearing them, it could lead to the development of a lazy eye. This is one of the commonest amblyopia causes because this condition may go undetected.”
He further states, “Another common obstruction to complete visual development in a child could be that of a child who is born with a cataract in one eye and due to mere negligence – they are not given the treatment they need. Parents are often skeptical about having their newborn go through eye surgery since they’re just a little baby but they don’t realize the consequences that follow. A cataract is as bad as a patch because it does not allow light to enter the eye at all. Eye specialists for children operate on this young cataract at about 6 weeks of age. Ophthalmology as a specialty has few emergencies and cases like these. This is one of the rarest causes of amblyopia but can it be very serious, therefore, it needs urgent treatment.”
Another rare cause of amblyopia or lazy eye is a squint. If your child has a squint, you will always note that the eye with the squint is not being used much. And the only reason why this happens is that the brain stops using that eye. This condition is more common in children than in adults and is termed as ‘suppression’. The brain suppresses this eye as a defense mechanism to protect your child from double vision. Squinting is like an eye patch, therefore vision in that particular eye does not fully develop, resulting in lazy eye.
Signs And Symptoms Of Lazy Eye:
- An eye that wanders inward or outward
- Eyes that appear to not work together
- Poor depth perception
- Squinting or shutting one eye
- Head tilting
- Abnormal results of vision screening tests
3. Can trendy haircuts like bangs cause lazy eyes?
Another important question that parents itch to ask is if trendy haircuts such as long bangs or side bangs cause lazy eye or squint. Here’s what Dr. Garg has to say, “Long bangs or side bangs usually cannot and do not cause amblyopia. Of course, no hair should be obstructing vision but even if hair falls in front of the eyes the obstruction to vision is not significant enough to cause a lazy eye.”
So there you have it! Trendy haircuts like long bangs or hairstyles that may obstruct vision do not cause lazy eye, so parents, you can breathe easy and get your child the cutest bangs without a care in the world.