Amblyopia is poor vision in an eye that did not develop normal sight in early childhood. It is often called "lazy eye". The condition is quite common, affecting 3 out of every 100 people.
Amblyopia is caused by: Any abnormality that affects normal use of the eyes and vision development. Misaligned eyes, such as crossed eyes, often accompany amblyopia. Refractive errors (Needing eye glasses) are a frequent and treatable cause of amblyopia. Eye diseases, like cataracts, can lead to "lazy eye." Inherited conditions may also contribute to amblyopia.
Blurred vision and/or crossed or wandering eyes is the major symptom of amblyopia.
Amblyopia MUST be diagnosed by age three in order for treatment to be the most effective. Primarily, the child must be forced to use the weak eye. A patch or cover is placed over the "good" eye for a prescribed number of hours daily. This is done for weeks, months or even years at a time.
Glasses are often prescribed to maximize the clarity of vision and vision development. Medication, such as drops, may be prescribed, or surgery may be required to remove cataracts or to straighten crossed or wandering eyes.
Treatments for the conditions that "cause" amblyopia do not cure it. Amblyopia must be treated in addition to the conditions that cause it.