Eye conditions & symptoms 2 min read

Understanding Amblyopia

Share on

Amblyopia, commonly referred to as ‘lazy eye’, tends to affect children and is usually easy to treat. If left uncorrected, however, it could permanently affect the vision.

Lazy eye usually develops from around the age of four. It occurs when there is a reduction in the amount of light entering one eye which results in different qualities of vision, as one is weaker than the other. Over time, the brain may ‘learn’ to ignore images received from the weaker eye and only accept those from the stronger eye.

Why does it happen?

Lazy eye results from other conditions that affect the sight:

  • Squint (strabismus): Problems with the eye muscles lead to a misalignment of the eyes.
  • Severe long or short-sightedness: An inability for one eye to focus properly can force the stronger eye to work harder, and the other to become ‘lazy’.
  • Congenital cataracts: Usually present at birth, congenital cataracts in one eye may make a child’s vision in that eye appear cloudy, forcing the other to work harder.

 How to spot it

There are no specific symptoms of lazy eye, but children tend to see less clearly with the affected eye. Parents might notice a child holding his or her head at an angle to see distant objects. Children may repeatedly cover one eye, or develop a habit of squinting.

Treatment

Sometimes a patch is used to treat lazy eye

Lazy eye is usually simple to treat, but it can take time. If unaddressed, the vision may be permanently compromised. Amblyopia can be diagnosed from around the ages of five or six. The underlying problem needs to be addressed – for example, prescription glasses can correct the focus of the weaker eye. The better eye may then need to be covered by a patch for a while, to strengthen the affected eye. Make an appointment with your Optician if you suspect your child has a lazy eye.

 

Essilor's complete guide to children's eyesight and glasses

Find out how to spot an eye condition, what causes it and how to treat it, as well as a guide to picking the best frames and lenses for your child.

Get guide

You could be interested !

Your life and eyes 4 min read

How to tell if your child has a sight problem

Problems with your sight can occur at any time so as a parent it’s important that you’re aware of any changes or issues with your child’s vision. Let's take a look at why eye tests are important for children, some of the key signs to look out for and common eye conditions

Eye conditions & symptoms 8 min read

Understanding Myopia

Myopia is a common eye condition that occurs when there is something wrong with the shape of the eyeball, cornea, or lens, causing objects in the distance to appear blurred or unfocused. Read about this common eye condition from the symptoms to treatments available.