AMBLYOPIA (am-blee-O-pee-ah)

You have been diagnosed with an eye condition called amblyopia, sometimes referred to using a non-medical term as lazy eye.  Amblyopia causes an eye and the brain to not working properly together.  The most common causes of amblyopia are large differences in prescription need between the two eyes, strabismus (the eyes not pointing in the same direction), or an inability to see out of one eye from birth.  To overcome this situation the brain generally suppresses or ignores much of the information from one of the eyes.  Once this occurs the effected eye cannot achieve a normal level of vision despite an accurate prescription.
The successful treatment of amblyopia is highly dependent on the age of the patient.  A young child has a better prognosis for recovering normal vision.  Treatment generally includes eyeglasses, patching or occluding the normal eye to force the “lazy” amblyopic eye to work, and sometimes vision therapy.  As a general rule, amblyopia treatment has little benefit after the visual system matures.  The point in time at which this occurs is highly variable from six months to twelve years of age.