How to Say It: Am-blee-o-pee-a
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Amblyopia is a reduction of vision in one eye that cannot be corrected with glasses. It is also called lazy eye.
There are five types of amblyopia:
Early treatment can improve outcomes.
Amblyopia happens when the brain prefers one eye to the other. The brain’s preference can weaken and reduce vision in the eye that is less used.
Eye problems that can cause this to happen are:
This problem is often noticed during childhood. Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Some people may not have symptoms. Others may have:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. An eye exam will be done. Vision in each eye will be tested. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
Any underlying eye problems will need to be treated, such as removing a cataract.
The goal of treatment is to correct vision. This is done by forcing the brain to use the weaker eye so that it gets stronger. This should be done as early as possible to lower the risk of lifelong vision problems.
There are no known ways to prevent this health problem.
Eye Smart—American Ophthalmology
National Eye Institute
Canadian National Institute for the Blind
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
Amblyopia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/amblyopia. Accessed September 15, 2021.
Amblyopia (lazy eye). National Eye Institute website. Available at: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/amblyopia-lazy-eye. Accessed September 15, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mary-Beth Seymour, RN
Last Updated: 9/15/2021