Catching amblyopia early is essential to treating it fully and easily
David Hunter, MD, PhD, chief of Ophthalmology at Boston Children?s Hospital
Here are some of the basics about amblyopia:
- Amblyopia, also called "lazy eye," is a condition in which vision does not develop normally during childhood because the eye and brain are not working together properly. This can occur if the eyes are sending blurry or two different images to the brain.
- Usually the child has one weak eye with decreased vision and one strong eye with normal vision.
- There is typically nothing wrong with the weak or lazy eye. However since the brain has not received normal stimulation from it, the brain learns to ignore (“turn off”) the weak eye and to favor the other eye.
- Less commonly, amblyopia can also occur in both eyes.
- Undiagnosed amblyopia can lead to blindness in the affected eye, but if amblyopia is caught early, the eye can be trained to work normally.
How Boston Children's approaches amblyopia
At Boston Children's, children with amblyopia are treated through the Department of Ophthalmology, home to the largest group of full-time practicing pediatric ophthalmologists in the United States. Children and families come from around the world for the most advanced vision testing, diagnostics and treatment available for of all types of visual impairments.
Reviewed by: Carolyn Wu, MD. © Boston Children’s Hospital 2012.