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Amblyopia, also called lazy eye, is the loss or lack of
development of clear vision in only one eye. It is not due to
eye health problems and eyeglasses or contact lenses can't
correct the reduced vision caused by a lazy eye.
Lazy eye develops when the visual image each eye sends to
the brain is so different that the brain cannot combine the
two into one clear picture. Often, the brain tries to correct
this problem by ignoring the image from the weaker or
"lazy" eye. When untreated, this can result in permanent
vision loss in the lazy eye.
Amblyopia can result from anything that interferes with the
ability of both eyes to work together. It can be caused by:
l Crossed eyes (strabismus)
l A significant difference in the amount of nearsightedness,
farsightedness, or astigmatism present in each eye
l A physical obstruction of vision in one eye due to a
cataract or eye injury.
Vision in a lazy eye will not improve on its own. But early
diagnosis and treatment increases the chances of regaining
Treatment for lazy eye largely depends on what caused its
development. In most cases, treatment involves:
l Correcting any nearsightedness, farsightedness, or
astigmatism with eyeglasses or contact lenses to provide the
clearest possible vision in each eye.
l Covering or blurring the vision in the better eye by "eye
patching" to force use of the lazy eye.
l Doing a series of prescribed eye exercises called vision
therapy to improve eye movement, eye teaming and eye
Treatment for amblyopia may require a combination of
prescription lenses, eye patching and vision therapy.
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