Understanding lazy eye

If your child receives a diagnosis of amblyopia, it can be concerning.

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Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is a condition where one eye doesn’t see well because the brain and the eye aren’t working well together. Approximately 3% of the population has amblyopia, making it one of the most common eye disorders in children. If left untreated, it can cause permanent vision loss. In fact, amblyopia is the leading cause of vision loss in children.

Strabismus and amblyopia (lazy eye) are two different conditions
Strabismus
Patients with a wandering eye or crossed eyes are commonly thought to have "lazy eye," however this eye condition is actually called strabismus and is different than amblyopia. People with strabismus have misaligned eyes or crossed eyes. One eye might look straight while the other turns in, out or down. Strabismus is caused by the brain not being able to completely control where both eyes are looking.
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
There are several reasons why a child can develop amblyopia or "lazy eye." One of those is strabismus or "wandering eye". Another cause is anisometropia, which is when one eye is more near-sighted or far-sighted than the other. The third type of amblyopia is deprivation which is caused by an obstruction of vision from cataracts, congenital glaucoma, ptosis, or another eye condition.

Across all types of amblyopia, the weaker eye is "turned off" by the brain during the age when a child's vision is developing. Someone with amblyopia can't see clearly through both eyes even with glasses. Without treatment, this can lead to permanent vision loss in the weaker eye and it becomes harder to fix as a child gets older.
Lazy eye isn't a problem with the eyes, it's an issue with the brain
Photo of girl with lazy eye/amblyopia
The earlier amblyopia is treated, the better

Doctors usually discover amblyopia during routine examinations or eye checks at school. Once they spot it, they will refer your child to a pediatric ophthalmologist or optometrist to help. Starting treatment right away is the best thing you can do for your child’s vision.

If left untreated, amblyopia can lead to serious consequences

  • 2.6x

    more likely to have vision loss in both eyes1
  • 2.9x

    less likely to complete a university degree2
  • 1.7x

    more likely to develop ADHD3
Photo of girl with lazy eye/amblyopia wearing an eye patch
  • Glasses

    Most patients receive glasses to correct the refractive error - however, glasses often do not treat the underlying issue in the brain.

  • Patching

    The standard-of-care treatment today is wearing a patch over the stronger eye, to force patients to use their weaker eye.

  • Atropine

    Atropine drops which blur the stronger eye are also used in some cases, typically when patching is not enough to restore normal vision.

Digital treatments bring hope to children with lazy eye and their families

Digital therapies were developed out of the urgent need for other treatment options that are engaging and effective for patients.

Completing the prescribed treatment every day is notoriously difficult, and patching can come with a harmful social stigma for children.4-5

Even when children complete their prescribed treatment every day, many are still left with lazy eye after treatment.

Digital treatments can help improve a child's vision while also being fun. Families can leave the struggles and frustrations of patching behind.

Envision a brighter future.

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