- Amblyopia, or "lazy eye," is the loss of one eye's ability to see details.
It is the most common cause of vision problems in children.
Causes, incidence, and risk factorsAmblyopia occurs when the nerve pathway from one eye to the brain does not develop during childhood.
This occurs because the abnormal eye sends a blurred image or the wrong image to the brain.This confuses the brain, and the brain may learn to ignore the image from the weaker eye.
Strabismus is the most common cause of amblyopia. There is often a family history of this condition.The term "lazy eye" refers to amblyopia, which often occurs along with strabismus.
However, amblyopia can occur without strabismus and people can have strabismus without amblyopia.Other causes include:Childhood cataractsFarsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism, especially if it is greater in one eye.
Symptoms Eyes that turn in or out. Eyes that do not appear to work together. Inability to judge depth correctly. Poor vision in one eye.
- Signs and tests
- Amblyopia is usually easily diagnosed with a complete examination of the eyes. Special tests are usually not needed.
- First, any eye condition that is causing poor vision in the amblyopic eye (such as cataracts) needs to be corrected.
Children with a refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism) will need glasses.
Next, a patch is placed on the normal eye. This forces the brain to recognize the image from the eye with amblyopia. Sometimes, drops are used to blur the vision of the normal eye instead of putting a patch on it.
Expectations (prognosis)Children who get treated before age 5 will usually recover almost completely normal vision, although they may continue to have problems with depth percention.
Delaying treatment can result in permanent vision problems. After age 10, only a partial recovery of vision can be expected.ComplicationsEye muscle problems that may require several surgeries, which can have complications