Amblyopia: Introduction, Causes, and Treatment

Amblyopia is an eye-related condition that begins in the infancy stage and causes one eye to become extremely weaker than the other eye. In this condition, the brain only focuses on one eye and consequently, the other eye becomes weak. It results in poor vision of the person and sometimes both of the eyes get affected. Due to bad vision generated by the weaker eye, the brain becomes incapable to make sense of the vision and naturally relies more on the stronger eye. This condition is also prevalently called the lazy eye and the patient loses control over the weaker eye.  It generally begins during infancy and is a common reason for vision loss among children. However, with early diagnosis and proper treatment, it is possible to control vision damage and prevent long-term problems. 

Let us peruse a few sections to understand amblyopia conditions in a bit more detail. 

Causes of Amblyopia 

It is important to undergo clinical treatment to understand the underlying reason that triggers amblyopia. Normally, the main issue occurs when the brain finds out that the vision from one eye is weaker than the other. In response, the brain tries to solve this problem by turning off the signal from the weaker eye. However, we need both our eyes to make sense of the objects around us. Thus, this condition leads to chronic vision issues or even permanent blindness. Let us explore the main causes that may trigger the onset of amblyopia- 


In normal adults, both eyes move as a pair. However, in some kids, the movement of the eyes sometimes does not align. One eye can start to drift or go up or down which can lead to vision problems such as amblyopia. 


Mostly cataract occurs in old people when their eye lens starts to become cloudy. However, children also develop cataracts due to other underlying conditions such as Down syndrome, infection in the mother during pregnancy, and genetic disorders. If the cataract in children is left untreated, it can lead to other vision-related complications such as amblyopia. 

Common Vision Problems:  

There are some common vision-related issues such as blurry vision, nearsightedness, and farsightedness, which can be managed easily. To treat these problems, doctors prescribe using spectacles, lenses, and eye drops, which are quite easy to follow. However, it is important not to leave these conditions and especially blurry vision untreated. This is because even these problems can cause the brain to depend more on the stronger eye. 

Head Injury:  

Though amblyopia typically affects infants and children, it can happen in adults as well. Certain factors such as eye infection, head injury, or trauma can lead to amblyopia. 

Treatment for Amblyopia 

Timely diagnosis and proper treatment prove to be quite effective in restoring the lost vision of the lazy eye. Mainly, doctors first try to treat the root cause of the problem and then take measures to make the brain rely on the weaker eye. Let us go through a few of the treatment processes that doctors recommend for amblyopia. 

Covering the Stronger Eye: 

The more your brain tries to use the weaker eye, the better it will be for your treatment. Thus, to force the brain to use the weaker eye, doctors recommend covering the strong eye with an eye patch. Some kids need to use the eye patch for a couple of hours a day while others need to wear it for the whole day. 

Putting Eye Drops: 

Sometimes doctors also advise using drugs like atropine that temporarily makes the near vision of the stronger eye blur. As a result, the brain automatically forces the other eye to become more active. This works as well as eye patches and parents also find it convenient. Sometimes, the results start to show after a few weeks, but in severe cases, it takes months before the vision finally returns in the weaker eye. 


Doctors also choose to treat amblyopia by first treating the cause, which can be anything from nearsightedness to cataracts. If the root cause is cataract, doctors recommend surgery after which they start their treatment for amblyopia. 


Genetic conditions, strabismus, and infections trigger the onset of amblyopia in which the patient loses the ability to see clearly from both eyes. The causes of this condition are several, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, the condition can be managed and vision can be restored. However, if the condition is left untreated, it can lead to far-reaching complications and even permanent vision loss. 

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