The Truth About “Lazy Eye”

lazy eyeContrary to popular belief, the condition that people coined as “lazy eye” is a visual impairment rather than an oddity in the eye’s shape or position. A person can have lazy eye without it being recognizable by someone else’s naked eyes. Severe cases, however, sometimes show apparent visual signs that the two eyes are not performing the same functions with the same precision.
The scientific name for lazy eye is amblyopia, and it occurs in up to three children out of every hundred, according to the National Eye Institute. It is a condition that causes a reduction in vision abilities. The problem does not seem to respond to treatment with glasses or contacts, and it does not appear to be the product of an eye disease.

What Causes Lazy Eye?
Many factors can cause lazy eye. Strabismus, which is a disorder that crosses the eyes, could contribute to lazy eye. Many people confuse lazy eye with strabismus, but the conditions are separate and completely different. The condition could also come from nearsighted and farsighted variations between the two eyes where one is worse than the other. Specialists do not have an exact ironclad cause for lazy eye. Their summation is that the brain loses its controlling connection with one of the eyes for some reason.

What Are the Symptoms of Lazy Eye?
Lazy eye symptoms vary from subtle symptoms like squinting with one eye, to apparent symptoms such as eyes that wander and don’t seem to be acting as a team. A person who is suffering from lazy eye will have poor vision test results. The person will have a decline in capabilities that may gradually worsen, as well.

How to Treat Lazy Eye
Untreated lazy eye can result in permanent loss of eyesight in one eye. Therefore, it’s imperative that a person gets evaluated if he or she suspects the problem. Solutions such as patches and medications are available in addition to some training exercises. If you or your loved one is showing the symptoms of lazy eye, give a provider a call to get evaluated as quickly as possible.

Your eye specialist at Hampton Roads Eye Associates is qualified to diagnose and treat lazy eye.  If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or your child, contact us for an appointment at (757) 643-8800.