Amblyopia, Lazy Eye: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

What is amblyopia?

Amblyopia is a common condition where the vision is not normal even though there is no obvious pathological condition associated to it. Thus, the parents of a child with amblyopia are often surprised as there are no outward obvious symptoms.

This condition occurs more commonly in one eye. The vision in the weaker eye is often being “ignored” by the brain, leading to “laziness” in the weaker eye.

Lazy eyes are typically detected when the normal eye is covered (as in an eye test or at a school vision screening). It is important to detect lazy eyes early in children so that treatment is more effective, as it is important to have healthy and normal vision from both eyes.

Treatment

Treatment for this condition typically involves wearing spectacles with full prescription. Patching of the good eye allows the “workout” of the lazy eye so that it will catch up in its development process. You may see many young children wearing spectacles and most of these will be having their amblyopic eye treated.

Amblyopia can be treated, but it can take time. If unaddressed, the vision may be permanently compromised. Amblyopia can be diagnosed as early as 2 years of age where the underlying problem can be corrected.

Other common cause of a lazy eye

Squint (strabismus): Problems with the eye muscles lead to a misalignment of the eyes. To avoid seeing double, the brain ignores the vision from one eye, this eye becomes amblyopic. Children with a squint typically will require surgery along with glasses.

Routine exams can detect lazy eye early

Contact your nearest optometrist to arrange an eye exam now.

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