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What is amblyopia (lazy eye)

Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a vision development disorder in which an eye fails to achieve normal visual acuity, even with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. This disorder begins during infancy and early childhood and usually affects one eye but can be bilateral. The Most common causes for amblyopia are:

* strabismus (eye turn): The misalignment of the two eyes where one eye is looking at something and the other is looking at a different point in space. The treatment depends on the type of strabismus but usually include glasses, exercises and surgery.

* anisometropia:  a significant difference refractive error of each eye causes the eye with the most blurry image to stay underdeveloped. The usual form of Action is correction of thet refractive error with the correct prescription so that the eye can get a clear image and start developing.

* Stimulus deprivation: When there is an obstruction to the image received by the eye in the early stages of development. The visual development early on in life is fast and any factors that stop the eye from seeing normally like eye lid drooping (ptosis) or lens opacities (congenital cataracts) can result in the most severe form of amblyopia. Treatment of this form depends on the cause but  invariably starts with removing the obstruction. Particularly if lazy eye is detected early in life and promptly treated, reduced vision can be avoided. Early vision screenings (1-3 years old) are always recommended as many times there are no obvious signs to amblyopia. But if left untreated, a lazy eye can cause severe visual disability in the affected eye, including legal blindness.