Lazy Eye (also called amblyopia) is where abnormal vision development causes reduced vision in one eye. Often seen as one eye turning inward or outward. Notably, this condition causes blurry or reduced vision that is not correctable by glasses, contact lenses or eye surgery. The brain does not fully acknowledge the images seen by the lazy eye, which causes it to suppress vision. Amblyopia usually develops from birth up to early childhood. Thankfully, early detection and treatment give the best chance to improve symptoms for a cure. However, there is treatment for older children and adults that has proven successful as well, proving the brain can change at any age.
According to lazyeye.org, researchers have found that amblyopia can arise from a variety of developmental problems in the brain. Anything that interferes with the eye early in the period of visual
and brain development can cause a “lazy” eye. This differs from other vision problems because lazy eye can’t be corrected with glasses or surgery. The vision problem originates in the brain. Here are some common causes of lazy eye:
Less common: congenital disorders or vitamin A deficiency
A comprehensive eye exam is crucial for infants, toddlers, and children in general. Importantly, a basic eye exam from a family pediatrician or a simple vision screening is not enough to detect a lazy eye. Infants and young children have the highest risk for developing a lazy eye. Schedule an eye exam now and come back regularly as your doctor recommends. All children should have an eye exam between the ages of 3-5. Learn more about eye exam frequency for children in our blog, When Should my Child Get Their Vision Checked?