Lazy Eye (Amblyopia) Guide: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)

A lazy eye is an eye ailment that occurs is when one eye stops responding to visual stimulus. It is a disease found mostly in children.

Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)

Lazy Eye is a condition that is mostly seen in children of younger age. Children having a lazy eye (amblyopia) have reduced vision that does not develop as normally as it should. Unlike other children, the lazy eye patient cannot use both of his/ her eyes. The brain of the child having amblyopia focuses on one of the two eyes only. It ignores the “lazy eye” and uses the other for seeing objects. This condition majorly occurs due to the wrong or improper connectivity of the nerve connecting the eye to the brain.


Causes of Lazy Eye

There are a number of causes because of which children might suffer from amblyopia. Some of those causes include:

Refractive Errors

There are chances that one of the two eyes of the patient already has a better focus than the other one. Because of this, the eye with a less improved focus begins to form a blurry image and might also suffer from near or farsightedness. If this continues for a longer time, the patient’s brain starts adapting the same. It starts treating the eye with a weak focus as the “lazy eye” and hence uses the other eye only.


Old Eye Surgery or Eye Injury

There are chances that the patient might have been involved in some sort of eye surgery or might have had his/ her eye injured due to some reasons because of which one eye does not form a clear image and hence the brain reports it to be the “lazy eye”.


Deficiency of Vitamin A

Nutritional amblyopia occurs when a child is deficient in vitamin A consumption during gestation and childhood. Vitamin A is essential for proper retinal health and development. In developed countries, there’s rarely ever a case of nutritional amblyopia. It is an issue in third world countries but even with the challenges of poverty in America, children and expectant mothers do receive enough proper nutrition to prevent this from occurring. The disease is an eye problem and hence can be caused due to the deficiency of vitamin A in the body of the patient.



Due to glaucoma (a kind of eye problem), pressure starts to develop inside the eye because the patient’s vision might get disturbed. One out of the two eyes might fail to handle pressure developed to glaucoma and hence starts behaving as the lazy eye.

  • The eyelids of the person with a lazy eye might start drooping.
  • The condition of a Lazy eye can be genetic as well. If any member of the family is suffering from amblyopia, there are chances that the children of the family might inherit this disease from their family members.



Symptoms of Lazy eye

Some of the symptoms which say that you might have lazy eye disease are as follows:

  1. The person fails to figure out how far or near a certain object is. It becomes difficult for him/ her to know the depth, distance of the object from his/ her eyes.
  2. Children with lazy eyes usually bump into objects or people on a certain side accidentally. The eye that does not have normal vision fails to detect objects or people on its side and hence ends up with the person hitting that object.
  3. The person might start getting a feeling that the two eyes are not working together. Our eyes always coordinate with each other in order to view objects and live a normal life. When any one of the eyes refuses to work in synchronization along with the other eye, the vision gets disturbed.

After you have experienced one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, you must go to an eye specialist who will genuinely diagnose you for amblyopia.  The doctor performs the usual eye test for diagnosing the patient with a Lazy eye.



Treatment Options For Lazy Eye

The nerve connecting the eye to the brain, forms in childhood. Therefore, chances of getting fully cured of the lazy eye tend to reduce as the patient grows in age. By proper treatment and precautions, amblyopia can be cured up to the age of 7. In some rare cases, patients recover up to the age of 17. Therefore, age is not a barrier. In order to get good and quick results, one must start with the treatment as soon as the disease is diagnosed.

There are a lot of treatment options that can be opted for treating a person’s lazy eye and make him/ her capable enough to use both eyes effectively just like normal human beings do.


Corrective Glasses or Contact Lenses

Lazy eyes can be treated by wearing glasses or contact lenses of different powers in both eyes. The eye that functions properly will use the contact lens or glass with less power whereas the eye that does not function properly i.e. the lazy eye uses the lens with more power.


Wearing Eye Patches

Eye patches are a sort of covering for the treatment of the lazy eye. By keeping the normal, active eye covered with the eye patch, the lazy eye is forced to see objects and hence this helps in the re-activation of the almost dead nerve cells connecting the eye to the brain.

Eye patches are used to cover the normal eye to make the lazy eye better in vision. Wear the patch for about 6-7 hours daily for better results. Before using the patch, the patient should consult his/ her doctor about the duration of use, etc. The duration can vary according to the age of the patient and to the seriousness of the condition of the lazy eye.


Bangerter Filter

For children who cannot wear eye patches, use a Bangerter filter. These are just like eye patches. The only difference is that if the patient agrees to use Bangerter filters instead of the eye patches, he/ she must use these filters on the dominant eye for the complete day whereas the eye patches need to be used for 6-7 hours only. The opacity, density, and other factors of the filters can be adjusted according to the seriousness of the condition of the patient and the age of the patient.


Medicated Eye Drops and Medicines

After getting diagnosed with amblyopia, the doctor looks into the case and after that, prescribes certain medicines and eye drops for treating the problem of the lazy eye of the patient. The eye drops and the medicines prescribed by the doctor should be taken without failing and also inadequate amount. Taking both more or less than what the doctor has prescribed can cause serious damage to both the eyes and the nerves connecting the eyes with the brain.



Even after a number of medicines, treatments, and exercises, if amblyopia of the patient does not show any sort of positive changes or has a slower recovery rate than expected, doctors advise the patient to undergo a special surgery in which they treat the nerves causing one of the eyes to act like the lazy eye. Unlike other surgeries, this surgery requires additional equipment like eye patches while doing the surgery. Surgery for lazy eyes is done to adjust the length or positioning of the eye muscles. It may be used when amblyopia is caused by a:


droopy eyelid


Surgical solutions for lazy eye usually require additional strategies, such as eye patching, in order to correct vision. Surgery is also used to improve the cosmetic appearance of the eye.



Vision Exercise steps:

  • Hold a pencil some distance away from the child’s eye.
  • Bring it closer to the eye until it becomes blurry.
  • Once the image formed of the pencil starts appearing blurry, move the pencil away.
  • Repeat this exercise.

This exercise pressurizes the affected eye to look at the pencil and hence recognize it. As long as the this eye is not involved in the daily activities, there are very less number of chances of the disease getting cured.



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