As an eye problem which usually starts in childhood, amblyopia or lazy eye refers to the condition of uncoordinated eyes. Caused by sustained period of visual neglect in childhood, people suffering amblyopia have a relatively weaker eye. This abnormal, weaker eye is considerably less used during daily activities. Over time, it is hard to be corrected. Good news is that there is new research on fluoxetene, which reveals that this drug may be effective in curing amblyopia. Both children and adults with lazy eye may benefit from this medication because it is now believed to rejuvenate nerve cells linked to vision in the brain.
The neuronal connections are very plastic in early childhood. However, this flexibility will rapidly decrease as the critical period closes. This is why lazy eye in adults is quite hard to treat. However, fluoxetene as a popular antidepressant marketed as prozac has been found that it can reopens the critical period of plasticity in the visual cortex, which is the lateral geniculate body part of the brain. In other words, the neurons in an adult’s brain will regain plasticity which is only available in youth. Prozac is thus capable of making the visual perception system to develop normal connections between the eye and the brain. In addition, the usage of prozac may also help old individuals improve their eyesight. There have been cases of maximum vision improvement when vision therapy was also administered along with prozac.
Except for the exciting news, there is still a concern that researchers also revealed some side effects of long term use of prozac. They include severe anxiety, glaucoma and visual field defects. Other risks and benefits of using prozac as a treatment for lazy eye need further long term research.
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