Amblyopia Specialist

Advanced Vision & Achievement Center

Optometrists located in Phoenix, AZ

Amblyopia, or lazy eye, which is more prevalent in children, can lead to additional eye complications in the future. At Advanced Vision & Achievement Center in Phoenix, highly skilled optometrists Neha Amin, OD, FAAO, and Mary Hardy, OD, can diagnose and treat amblyopia. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone.

Amblyopia Q & A

Advanced Vision & Achievement Center

What is amblyopia?

Amblyopia, or lazy eye, refers to diminished vision in one eye caused by abnormal visual development earlier in life. The weaker eye often wanders outward or inward. Amblyopia typically develops from birth up to age 7, and it is the primary cause of reduced vision in one eye among children.

Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent long-term vision complications. Amblyopia can be corrected with contact lenses, glasses, or eye patches. In some cases, surgery is a viable solution.

What are the symptoms of amblyopia?

The signs and symptoms of amblyopia include:

  • An eye that wanders outward or inward
  • Eyes that don’t appear to work together
  • Poor depth perception
  • Squinting or shutting of one eye
  • Head tilting
  • Abnormal results in vision screening tests

Sometimes, amblyopia is more difficult to detect without a professional eye exam. Complete eye exams are recommended for all children between ages 3-5.

What causes amblyopia?

Amblyopia usually occurs due to abnormal eye development earlier in life that alters the nerve pathways between the retina — a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye — and the brain.

As the weaker eye receives fewer visual signals over time, the ability of the eyes to work together diminishes, and the brain ignores or suppresses input from the weaker eye. Common risk factors that can lead to amblyopia include:

  • Imbalance of the muscles that position the eyes
  • Difference in vision sharpness between the eyes
  • A problem with one eye, such as a cataract, that prevents clear vision in that eye
  • Premature birth
  • Small size at birth
  • Family history of amblyopia
  • Developmental disabilities

If it isn’t properly treated, amblyopia can lead to permanent vision loss.

What are the treatments for amblyopia?

It’s important to begin treatment for amblyopia as early as possible. And since this problem is more common in children, treating it early is vital, because the complex connections between the eye and brain are still forming. Treatment options will depend on the cause of the amblyopia, but they might include:

  • Corrective eyewear, such as glasses or contact lenses
  • Eye patches to stimulate the weaker eye by covering the stronger eye
  • Bangerter filter, a special filter placed on the eyeglass lens of the stronger eye that blurs the stronger eye to act as an eye patch
  • Eyedrops to temporarily blur vision in the stronger eye

In some cases, Dr. Amin or Dr. Hardy may refer you to a surgeon for cataract treatment or to repair eye muscles or droopy eyelids.

For top-notch amblyopia treatment, book an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Vision & Achievement Center today.