Amblyopia

Alternative Names

Lazy eye

Definition of Amblyopia

Amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” is the loss of one eye’s ability to see details. It is the most common cause of vision problems in children.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Amblyopia occurs when the nerve pathway from one eye to the brain does not develop during childhood. This occurs because the abnormal eye sends a blurred image or the wrong image to the brain.

Signs and tests

Amblyopia is usually easily diagnosed with a complete examination of the eyes. Special tests are usually not needed.

Treatment

First, any eye condition that is causing poor vision in the amblyopic eye (such as cataracts) needs to be corrected.

Expectations (prognosis)

Children who get treated before age 5 will usually recover almost completely normal vision, although they may continue to have problems with depth percention.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/12/2010

Visual acuity test
Walleyes

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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