Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)

Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is when vision in one or both eyes does not develop properly during childhood. Amblyopia is a common problem in babies and young children, but if left untreated early it cannot be corrected later in life.


Causes of Lazy Eye

Amblyopia can develop from other eye and vision problems. Here are some conditions that may cause amblyopia in a child.


Strabismus is when the eyes point in two different directions. One eye may be focused straight ahead while the other turns in, out, up, or down. To avoid seeing double, the child’s brain may ignore the image from the eye that is not focused straight ahead. But this can keep that eye from developing properly.

Refractive Errors

A child may have a refractive error (nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatism) that is worse in one eye. That eye can “turn off” and vision will not develop properly. This can be difficult to tell since the child’s vision seems fine when using both eyes.

Cloudiness in normally clear parts of the eye

Some children are born with a cataract, where the eye’s normally clear lens is cloudy. This can keep vision from developing properly in that eye and result in amblyopia.