Alternate Names : Lazy eye
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.
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Amblyopia occurs when the brain and eyes do not work together properly. In persons with amblyopia, the brain favors one eye.
The preferred eye has normal vision, but because the brain ignores the other eye, a person’s vision ability does not develop normally. Between ages 5 and 10, the brain stops growing and the condition becomes permanent.
Strabismus is the most common cause of amblyopia, and there is often a family history of this condition.
Other causes include:
* Astigmatism in both eyes
* Childhood cataracts
Pictures & Images
Visual acuity test
Visual acuity tests may be performed in many different ways. It is a quick way to detect vision problems and is frequently used in schools or for mass screening. Driver license bureaus often use a small device that can test the eyes both together and individually.
People are very sensitive to other individuals’ eye positions. By looking at another person’s eye position, one can very effectively gauge where they are looking. People are also sensitive to eyes that are not looking in the same direction, which is referred to as crossed eyes (strabismus). Other more specific medical terms refer to eyes turned either outward or inward, or that are abnormally rotated. Any appearance of crossed eyes in young children should be immediately evaluated, as should recent onset of crossed eyes in an adult.
Reviewed By : Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.