What is it?

Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a condition in which the brain favors one eye and neglects the other. The condition usually occurs in children and is usually a result of poor vision in one eye. Poor vision can be caused by various reasons including malalignment of the eyes, clouding of the lens (cataract), myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), trauma and more. As a result, the brain ignores the input coming from the weak eye and leads to even worse vision in that eye. Amblyopia is the most common cause of decreased vision in one eye among children and young adults. If the condition is untreated, irreversible vision loss may occur.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Lazy Eye

Signs & symptoms

Amblyopia is often hard to detect until substantial vision loss is present. This is why it is so important to visit the ophthalmologist at an early age. The American Optometric Association recommends that children have eye exams when they are 6 months old and 3 years old. Early warning signs include double vision, being cross eyed (strabismus), squinting, a tendency to bump into objects, poor depth perception and an eye that wanders inward or outward.

Diagnosis

Amblyopia can be detected by a standard eye exam performed by an ophthalmologist. During the exam, the doctor will assess vision in both eyes. Early detection improves treatment success.

Treatment


The treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the cause of the poor vision in the weak eye. Sometimes, glasses are a sufficient treatment. If the cause is clouding of the lens, cataract surgery may be needed. In many cases, treatments that encourage the child to use the weaker eye are used. This is usually done by using a patch over the strong eyes for a few hours a day.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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