Dr. Edward Boshnick
Snapper Creek Professional Center
7800 SW 87 Ave Suite B-270
Miami, Florida 33173
Amblyopia (lazy eye)
What is Amblyopia?
Amblyopia (lazy eye) is the loss or lack of development of vision in an eye that is unrelated to any
eye health problem. The brain, for some reason, does not acknowledge the images seen by the amblyopic
eye. Reduced vision due to amblyopia is not correctable with lenses alone.
Who is Likely to Develop Amblyopia?
Amblyopia is generally the result of poor early visual development, and as such, usually occurs
before the age of eight. Infants born prematurely or with low birth weight are at a greater risk for
the development of the condition. It is estimated that two or four percent of children have amblyopia.
The chance of amblyopia developing during adulthood is very small.
What Causes Amblyopia?
Amblyopia usually results from a failure to use both eyes together. It can be caused by the presence of
strabismus (crossed-eyes), unequal refractive error (farsightedness or nearsightedness), or a physical
obstruction of vision (cataract). If there is a large enough difference in the degree of nearsightedness,
farsightedness, or astigmatism between the two eyes, or if the eyes are crossed, the brain learns to
ignore one image in favor of the other.
How Does Amblyopia Affect Vision?
Normally, the images sent by each eye to the brain are identical. When they differ too much, the brain
learns to ignore the poor image sent by one eye and "sees" only with the good eye. The vision of the eye
that is ignored becomes weaker from disuse
Is the Ambliotic Eye Blind?
The amblyotic eye is never blind in the sense of being entirely without sight. Amblyopia affects only
the central vision of the affected eye. Peripheral awareness will remain the same.
What are the Signs/Symptoms of Amblyopia?
Amblyopia usually produces few symptoms. It may be accompanied by crossed-eyes or a large difference in
the refractive error between the two eyes. A child may also exhibit noticeable favoring of one eye
and may have a tendency to bump into objects on one side.
How is Amblyopia Diagnosed?
A comprehensive optometric examination can determine the presence of amblyopia. The earlier it is
diagnosed, the greater the chance for a successful treatment. Since amblyopia occurs only in one eye,
the good eye takes over and the individual is generally unaware of the condition. That is why it is
important to have your child's vision examined at about six months , at age three, and again before he
or she enters school.
How is Amblyopia Treated?
Corrective lenses, prisms, and/or contact lenses are often used to treat amblyopia. Covering or
occluding the better eye, either part-time or full-time, may be used to stimulate vision in the
amblyopic eye. In addition, a program of vision therapy may be prescribed to help improve vision
How Does Amblyopia get Worse?
Vision in the amblyopic eye may continue to decrease if left untreated. The brain simply pays less and
less attention to the images sent by the amblyopic eye. Eventually the condition stabilizes and the eye
becomes virtually unused. It is quite difficult to effectively treat amblyopia at this point.
Is Amblyopia Preventable?
Early detecting and treatment of amblyopia, or lazy eye, can help reduce the chances of the eye becoming amblyopic.
>> Astigmatism questions and information.