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Amblyopia, commonly known as “Lazy Eye” is the condition where we see decreased vision in one or both eyes which is not correctable by regular eye glasses or contact lenses.

What causes Amblyopia?

During a child’s eye development any interference with their clear image of the world can cause favoritism in one eye. This leaves the other eye (the “Lazy Eye”) underdeveloped. This can be caused by other eye afflictions such as astigmatism, near (or far) sightedness, cataracts or injury to the eye(s).

How is it detected?

Amblyopia is typically detected during a routine eye examination. Tools other than the 20/20 chart are often required in detection. Tests such as eye alignment, refraction and dilating eye drops may be used.

Some signs and symptoms:

  • Poor vision in one or both eyes.
  • Headaches.
  • Avoiding close work.
  • Cloudiness in one eye.
  • Squinting or favouring one eye while viewing television or reading.
  • A Slight turning of one eye.
  • Movement or tilting of the head while viewing items.

Methods of Treatment

The key to treating Amblyopia is early diagnosis. Often treated by employing special glasses, using drops, patching and in some cases vision therapy.

Amblyopia is another good reason why early and regular eye examinations are important in a developing infant or pre-school child. Best chance for correction is in children of five or less, though it’s somewhat successfully treated up to the age of eight.