Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Amblyopia is a disorder of the eye that is characterized by poor or indistinct vision in an eye that is otherwise physically normal, or out of proportion to associated structural abnormalities.

The problem is caused by either no transmission or poor transmission of the visual image to the brain for a sustained period of dysfunction or during early childhood. There can be various causes of amblyopia such as impairment of vision as a result of alcohol poisoning, impairment caused by toxic influences, trauma, etc. However the most common type of amblyopia is strabismus which means of suppression of vision in one eye to avoid double vision. If a young child has a weak muscle in one eye, and the focus in such a way as to give the child double vision, the child’s brain will not accept this and learns to suppress the vision in one eye to eliminate the double image.

This condition must be detected early or the “lazy” eye may never learn to see well. Many times the parent will notice that one of the child’s eyes drifts out or turns in. The child should be examined by an ophthalmologist who will then treat the condition in whatever manner he deems appropriate. Sometimes the stronger eye is patched for periods of time to force the weaker eye to see, or perhaps special glasses will be given to the child. Other times, surgery to the eye muscles will be required. If treatment is not obtained by the time is approximately six years old, the lazy eye’s vision will probably not improve over time.

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