What is lazy eye? How is it treated?« Back to Questions List

Vision development is at its peak from the infancy to 11 years of age. At any stage a child could be develop problems in vision due to various reasons. One such medical condition is Lazy eye syndrome. Lazy eye or amblyopia is a medical condition that develops especially in children when vision does not develop properly in one particular eye. Because the vision becomes poor in one eye, the brain tends to automatically cut off the image received from the affected eye and process only the image from the good eye. Slowly, the use of affected eye is suppressed by the brain making it ‘lazy’ and the good eye alone gets a chance to develop. In a long run, the lazy eye loses its ability to see. The affected person (without being aware of this condition) always focuses only using the good eye. Such a condition cannot be easily found out.

The reason for development of lazy eye could be a squint (when eyes don’t look in the same direction) or ocular misalignment (when one eye turns inward, outward, up or down) or imperfections on the surface of the eye. 

Children with lazy eye syndrome do not have a good vision when they close their good eye and try to see using the lazy eye. The children cannot see clearly out of the lazy eye even if they wear glasses. This condition could be treated commonly with the use of what is called a ‘patch’.

lazy eye
A patch is used to cover the good eye and the child is made to view using the lazy eye. Now the brain is forced to use the lazy eye. This exercise is definitely a lot of stress for the child trying to see only using the lazy eye. But later on, there could lead to an improvement in the vision of the lazy eye even though normal vision cannot be restored completely. Depending on the severity, patching treatment takes several months to years.


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