Amblyopia dervived from the Greek” dull vision” is more commonly called lazy eye. It affects sight/vision usually in one eye and rarely in both eyes during childhood development.

At what age does it occur?

Amblyopia occurs during development in childhood from birth and within the first decade of life.

If the eye appears normal then how can it become lazy?

The right eye and the left eye receives stimulation of an identical object that falls at the back of the right eye and the left eye called the retina. Both identical images are sent to the brain, through connections or wires and interpreted or “fused” as one image.

In a lazy eye, the image received by one eye cannot be focussed clearly or the image appears “blurred”. Lets take an example, of a lazy right eye.

The image on the left eye is clearly interpreted by the brain. The image of the right eye is however, blurry and this is sent to the brain. The brain does not like the blurred image that continues for some time, so the brain ignores it or starts to become lazy. As a result the vision in the right eye becomes reduced whilst the vision in the left eye is better or stronger.

How long does I need to treat my child for amblyopia?

There are different types of amblyopia. Once diagnosis is confirmed treatment is prescribed by the treating Orthoptist or Ophthalmologist. Your child may need to visit the clinic more regularly to see the Orthoptist to continue care, monitor the vision, and manage treatment. Your child may see the Ophthalmologist on a different clinic after a few weeks or months following treatment. The treatment prescribed is different for each type of amblyopia. Treatment time can vary considerably from a few months to much longer. Each child is treated independently for the condition.

Does the eye develop normally?

The eye develops and appears to look normal, as does the rest of the visual system (eyes, connections to the visual cortex and other parts of the brain relating to sight).