Lazy eye, medically known as amblyopia, is a condition in which one or both eyes are not correctable to 20/20 regardless of whether the individual wears the prescription glasses or contact lenses.


There are three causes of amblyopia:

  • It is most commonly caused by high prescription glasses, either in both eyes or in one eye (which will cause a big difference in the prescription in both eyes).
  • An eye that wanders in or out, in any direction, can cause amblyopia. This is usually the cause of most noticeable amblyopia.
  • Amblyopia may be caused by physical obstructions, such as cataracts or drooping eyelids.


In order to achieve the best results in treating lazy eye, a combination of the following techniques is often used:

Optical correction

Each eye should have the appropriate optical correction to help achieve clear vision, in order to achieve optimal vision. It's imperative that the patient receives an accurate prescription for glasses since amblyopia is most commonly caused by very high optical prescriptions in one eye or both eyes.


For a long time, optometrists and ophthalmologists thought patching was the most effective treatment that could be offered. It presents a number of challenges, however. The most obvious problem is compliance because it is hard to get a child to patch for long periods of time every day. In addition to compliance, we also know that wearing eyepatch forces the brain to use the other eye but not necessarily to use both eyes together to achieve great vision. The hope with patching was that when the patch is removed the brain will be able to use both eyes simultaneously. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and for many patients patching alone is insufficient for the brain to start using both eyes together. Learn more about patching.

Vision therapy

Patching can come with certain challenges, and this is where vision therapy is extremely valuable. Vision therapy is designed to strengthen an individual's entire visual system, including their brains and their eyes, to ensure that they are all working together properly. A lazy eye develops when the visual system does not work together as a team, as the brain suppresses the weaker eye and only uses the stronger eye. During vision therapy, the brain is trained to communicate properly with both eyes through repeated exercises and activities. Learn more about vision therapy.

Explore comprehensive care for an eye exam for lazy eye at our renowned optometry clinic in Hixson, conveniently serving patients from Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley. Call (423) 321-8233 or fill out this form to make an appointment today.
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