Lazy Eye (Amblyopia): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment


Lazy eye is an early childhood health condition that has its medical term as “amblyopia”. Amblyopia occurs when a child’s eyesight does not develop as it should in one eye, it is when your brain favors one eye over the other, usually a result of poor vision in your other eye. As a result of the eye not being as healthy as the other it is termed weak or “lazy” eye, and your brain might ignore signals from it. If the lazy eye is not stimulated properly, the nerve cells responsible for vision do not mature normally. The condition can get a lot more severe leading to vision impairment and loss of depth perception.

Your affected eye may not look any different, there may be no physical signs that it is impaired, although it may wander uncontrollably in different directions. That’s where the term “lazy” comes from. Amblyopia in the United State affects approximately 2 percent of all children, the condition will usually affect only one of your eyes, but in certain circumstances, it may have an effect on both eyes and affect your whole vision. Record in the US has shown that the condition has grown to become the most common cause of partial or total blindness in one eye, especially in children.

It is important for one to know that a lazy eye is not the same as a cross-eye. Cross eye or turned eye is a different condition and has its medical term as strabismus [1]. Although they are not the same, strabismus can lead to amblyopia, this happens when your crossed eye gets much less use than your uncrossed one. What causes the complications of amblyopia is when it goes untreated, which is why it is important to pay attention to the symptoms, to know if you have any sign of it, and get it treated as soon as possible.