Amblyopia, or "Lazy Eye" is a developmental disorder of visual processing that occurs in early childhood. It is fairly common throughout the world. Amblyopia is caused by an interruption in eyesight in one of the eyes. Common causes are an eye turn, a much higher prescription in one eye compared to the other, or an obstruction of eyesight in one eye.
Amblyopia results in reduced eyesight in one eye, even with the best corrected glasses or contact lenses. If caught early enough, Amblyopia effects can be almost completely mitigated if well managed with appropriate intervention.
Without a professional examination, amblyopia is a difficult condition for parents to identify because most children with amblyopia appear to see and function normally. This occurs because children's brains adapt, and usually ignore the weaker eye.This is a protection mechanism, as a brain would have difficulty taking good signals and bad signals and putting them together. For sitting still and looking at stationary targets, children appear normal. However, as they grow and get involved with other activities like sports, children with amblyopia usually have poor depth perception and their eyes have difficulty working together.
Children with amblyopia commonly have difficulty with eyesight, depth perception, focusing, and reading. Sometimes eye movements are reduced since the eyes don't work together as efficiently as they could.
Treatments generally consist of first finding the correct glasses prescription. Patching is an inexpensive method that has been successfully used for many years. Drop therapy is a relatively new method with similar success. This involves prescription eye drops to the non lazy eye, similar to patch therapy but without the patch.