Amblyopia is the medical term used when the vision in one of the eyes is reduced because the eye and the brain are not working together properly. The eye itself looks normal, but it is not being used normally because the brain is favoring the other eye.
What causes Amblyopia?
Amblyopia may be caused by any condition that affects normal visual development or use of the eyes. Amblyopia can be caused by strabismus, an imbalance in the positioning of the two eyes. Strabismus can cause the eyes to cross in (esotropia) or turn out (exotropia). Sometimes amblyopia is caused when one eye is more nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic than the other eye. Occasionally, amblyopia is caused by other eye conditions such as cataract.
How is amblyopia treated?
If the eyes are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism, glasses will be given and should be worn at all times.
The stronger eye is often patched several hours a day to stimulate vision in the weaker eye.
If patching is not tolerated, a drop of a drug called atropine is placed in the stronger eye to temporarily blur the vision so that the child will prefer to use the eye that is amblyopic.