Lazy eye (amblyopia) is a condition that starts in childhood in which the brain is unable to properly register sight from one eye due to a problem in how the brain and the eye work together, resulting in poor vision in one eye. The brain has to rely more on the stronger eye, causing vision in the weaker eye to get worse.
Early treatment to fix lazy eye and prevent long-term vision problems includes:
- Training the weaker eye by making it work harder so it can get stronger
- An eye patch worn over the stronger eye so that eye can't see
- Eye drops to put in the stronger eye to blur vision in that eye
- Glasses or contact lenses
How Soon Can I See Results?
Vision may begin to improve within a few weeks, but it tends to take months for the best results. Children may need to continue to use the treatments on occasion to prevent the lazy eye from returning.
What Are Symptoms of Lazy Eye?
Symptoms of lazy eye include:
- Double vision
- Problems with depth perception
- Appearing to struggle to see clearly
- Shutting one eye
- Tilting the head
These problems can be subtle and often parents or caregivers don’t notice them. Lazy eye is often diagnosed through routine vision screening during a doctor's check-up or at school.
What Causes Lazy Eye?
Causes of lazy eye include:
- Crossed eyes (strabismus)
- Refractive errors
- Nearsightedness (difficulty seeing things far away)
- Farsightedness (difficulty seeing things up close)
- Astigmatism (which can cause blurred vision)
- Cataracts (uncommon in children)
Risk factors for developing lazy eye include: