Amblyopia, or what most people refer to as a lazy eye, is a condition in which one eye can be corrected to 20/20 but the other eye cannot.

What are the major causes of amblyopia?

  • Strabismus - This condition can be caused by a number of factors. One of the most common causes is strabismus in which when one eye turns. This can be either an eye that drifts inward or an eye that drifts outward. In those situations, if the eye were a camera, then the right eye would take a picture and the left eye would take a picture. Those pictures do not line up when they reach the brain. Therefore, the brain suppresses or ignores one image. Eventually, this will cause that eye to become the lazy eye, which cannot be corrected to 20/20 for an extended period of time.
  • Refractive error - Amblyopia can also be caused by equal and high amounts of refractive error. These can be nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, or we can have unequal amounts of refractive error, meaning one eye may have a high amount of farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism, while the other eye has little to no prescription.

How can amblyopia be treated effectively?

In order to treat amblyopia effectively, an individual must first get the most appropriate prescription to enable them to see to the best of their ability, followed by vision therapy, which is very effective for restoring binocular vision. Traditionally, it was believed that the best way to treat amblyopia was to patch the stronger eye in order to force the brain to learn how to properly use the weaker eye. It is hoped that, once the patch is removed, the brain will learn how to use both eyes properly. Research has shown that patching alone is not ideal, rather a focus on reintegrating the weaker eye within a binocular field during vision  therapy.

Receive the best care by visiting us for an eye exam for lazy eye at our trusted optometry clinic in Hixson, conveniently serving patients from nearby Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley. Call (423) 321-8233 or fill out this form to make an appointment today.
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