Synonyms: Lazy eye

Medical Specialties: Family practice, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics

Clinical Definition

Amblyopia is visual impairment in which the neural development for one eye is favored over the other. The vision in one eye thus becomes weaker, despite the absence of explanatory ocular abnormalities. Strabismus, commonly known as crossed eyes, is the most common cause. 

In Our Own Words

Amblyopia, a common cause of vision problems in children, is a visual weakness in one eye that develops as the brain starts to favor a single, stronger eye over one that returns blurred or obscured images.


The most common cause of amblyopia is strabismus (also called crossed eyes), a condition in which one eye turns out while the other looks straight causing the brain will favor the straight eye. Likewise, one farsighted eye, or a single cataract or astigmatism will result in preferential development of vision in the good eye.


Treatments including patching the normal eye, eye drops to blur vision in the normal eye so the lazy eye is forced to work, or surgery.  

Relevant Conditions
  • Strabismus
Side Effects
  • Eyes not working together
  • Poor vision in one eye
  • Turned-in or turned-out eyes
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