Lazy eye (amblyopia) is reduced vision in one eye caused by abnormal visual development early in life. The weaker — or lazy — eye often wanders inward or outward.
Amblyopia generally develops from birth up to age 7 years. It is the leading explanation for decreased vision among children. Rarely, lazy eye affects both eyes.
Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent long-term problems together with your child's vision. The eye with poorer vision can usually be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, or patching therapy.
Signs and symptoms of lazy eye include:
Ø An eye that wanders inward or outward
Ø Eyes that appear to not work together
Ø Poor depth perception
Ø Squinting or shutting an eye
Ø Head tilting
Ø Abnormal results of vision screening tests
When to see a doctor
See your child's doctor if you notice his or her eye wandering after the primary few weeks of life. A vision check is particularly important if there is a case history of crossed eyes, childhood cataracts or other eye conditions.
Lazy eye develops due to abnormal visual experience early in life that changes the nerve pathways between a skinny layer of tissue (retina) at the rear of the attention and therefore the brain. The weaker eye receives fewer visual signals. Eventually, the eyes' ability to figure together decreases, and therefore the brain suppresses or ignores input from the weaker eye.
Anything that blurs a child's vision or causes the eyes to cross or end up may result in lazy eye. Common causes of the condition include:
Ø Muscle imbalance (strabismus amblyopia). The most common explanation for lazy eye is an imbalance within the muscles that position the eyes. This imbalance can cause the eyes to cross in or end up , and prevents them from working together.
Ø Difference in sharpness of vision between the eyes (refractive amblyopia). A significant difference between the prescriptions in each eye — often thanks to farsightedness but sometimes to nearsightedness or an uneven surface curve of the attention (astigmatism) — can result in lazy eye.
Glasses or contact lenses are typically used to correct these refractive problems. In some children lazy eye is caused by a mixture of strabismus and refractive problems.
Ø Deprivation. A problem with one eye — like a cloudy area within the lens (cataract) — can prohibit clear vision therein eye. Deprivation amblyopia in infancy requires urgent treatment to stop permanent vision loss. It's often the most severe type of amblyopia.
Factors related to an increased risk of lazy eye include:
Ø Premature birth
Ø Small size at birth
Ø Family history of lazy eye
Ø Developmental disabilities
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