The brain and the eye work together to produce vision. Amblyopia occurs when the vision in one of the eyes is reduced because the eye and brain are not working together properly.
The eye itself looks normal, but is not being used normally because the brain is favoring the other eye. This condition is also sometimes called 'lazy eye'.
Symptoms of Amblyopia (lazy eye) include:
Eyes that do not seem to work together
Eyes that turn in or out
Poor vision in one eye
Inability to accurately judge depth
Amblyopia is a common concern for the optometrist in relation to children, affecting approximately 2 to 3 out of every 100 people. It may be caused by strabismus, or turned eyes. Sometimes amblyopia is caused when one eye is more short-sighted, long-sighted, or astigmatic than the other eye. Occasionally amblyopia is caused by other conditions such as cataracts.
Children who receive treatment before seven years of age usually have a near complete recovery of normal vision. However, amblyopia will not go away on its own. If not detected until pre-teen years or later, treatment takes longer and may be less effective. Most cases can be corrected with glasses or, in rare cases, with surgery.
Your Visique optometrist is trained to check for any causes of amblyopia and is able to help detect problems such as amblyopia and to provide treatment where needed.