First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > Amblyopia
Amblyopia, commonly called "lazy eye," is an eye condition in which one eye is not used enough for the visual system in the brain to develop properly. If one eye is weak, the brain ignores the images from it and uses only the images from the stronger eye, leading to poor vision in the weak eye.
Amblyopia usually affects only one eye, but it may occur in both eyes. Children can develop amblyopia between birth and about 7 years of age.
Amblyopia can be hard to detect. A child with amblyopia may have one eye that wanders or does not move with the other eye.
Amblyopia may develop if a child is much more nearsighted or farsighted in one eye than in the other. Extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness in both eyes may lead to amblyopia. Cloudiness in the black center of the eye or a droopy upper eyelid also can lead to amblyopia.
Normal vision develops with regular, equal use of the eyes. Treatment for amblyopia includes patching the stronger eye to force the weaker eye to develop better vision. Early treatment can usually reverse the condition.
Current as of: December 18, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher Joseph Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
2615 Lake Drive
Raleigh, NC 27607
901 Ridgefield Drive
Raleigh, NC 27609
4420 Lake Boone Trail
Raleigh, NC 27607
934 Vandora Springs Road
Garner, NC 27529
1505 SW Cary Parkway
Cary, NC 27511