Amblyopia, or lazy eye, as it is often referred, is a neurological condition that often develops in early childhood when something negatively affects either eye’s ability to see clearly. The primary symptom of amblyopia is reduced vision, and the condition typically arises when the eye and the brain are unable to interact and signal one another as they should. This can occur when an eye is blocked, when one eye is stronger or weaker than the other or when the eyes are crossed as a result of a condition called strabismus.
If one eye is able to see clearly and the other is prone to blurred vision, the brain can suppress the performance of the eye experiencing blurred vision. Over time, this can lead to a permanent reduction in the visual performance of the blurred eye.
Amblyopia cannot be corrected using glasses, contact lenses or eye surgery, and it instead requires treatment methods such as an eye patch or vision therapy, the latter of which is typically more effective. While it was once widely believed that amblyopia could not be countered in sufferers over the age of 7, this sentiment has since been disproven. Many amblyopia sufferers of all ages undergo effective treatment that involves a combination of donning an eye patch and engaging in visual activities proven to encourage stimulation of the cells within the eye.