What Causes Amblyopia Or Lazy Eye?

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What Is Amblyopia or Lazy Eye?

A lazy eye, or Amblyopia, is a vision disorder affecting children and adults.

The consequence of this visual disorder is poor (or deficient) vision in one of the eyes due to a lack of visual stimulation during a critical stage in visual development, without any injury or alteration in the structure of the eye.

In this situation, the two eyes lose or diminish their ability to work together to give the brain a correct image. The brain gets used to prioritizing the information the more assertive or dominant eye provides, thus favoring it.

Even though this so-called ‘lazy’ eye may be physically healthy, the brain omits the image it receives from this eye since it is too different from the image provided by the other eye.

On the other hand, it should be noted that lazy eye or Amblyopia is not the same as strabismus. These are two different disorders that are often confused.

Strabismus is an oculomotor deviation (of the eye muscles) in which the eye cannot move correctly, creating a deviation.

It is true, however, that strabismus can be one of the causes of ‘Lazy Eye.’

Now that we have refreshed our memory on the definition of Amblyopia let’s get into what causes Amblyopia to develop.

What Are The Causes Of Lazy Eye?

Why Does Lazy Eye Occur?

Different causes can lead to the development of a Lazy eye. Some of these most common causes are:

#1 Strabismus or Tropia

Strabismus or tropia (Tropia is the medical term for strabismus) is when the eyes are not aligned in the same direction.

In this situation, the brain may ignore the information it receives from that ‘deviated eye’ to avoid visual confusion between the information it receives from each eye due to this misalignment.

#2 Refractive Error

Suppose either eye has a refractive or ametropic problem (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism). In that case, it can lead to poor vision in one eye if left untreated.

#3 Anisometropia or Gradation Difference

When there is a difference in prescription between the two eyes, when the prescription of one eye is higher than the other, it can lead to poor vision in one eye and consequently to Amblyopia.

#4 Cause of Lazy Eye: Abnormal Visual Stimuli

The brain develops abnormal visual stimuli during childhood.

Suppose one of the eyes suffers from some obstruction, for example, a cataract. In that case, it can cause the brain to favor the eye’s vision that is not obstructed and ignore the image provided by the eye that receives an abnormal visual stimulus.

Or for example, having a droopy eyelid (or ptosis) is a condition that can block vision. The eye suffers from a droopy eyelid, which prevents the eye from developing as usual, which could eventually trigger a Lazy Eye.

#5 Brain Injuries

Injuries that affect the brain’s ability to process visual information can lead to the development of Amblyopia.

Detection and Treatment of Amblyopia

With that, It is imperative to detect Amblyopia or Lazy eye as early as possible so that it can be treated and permanent vision problems can be avoided. So don’t skip your yearly appointment with your eye doctor!

There are different treatments for Amblyopia. The type of treatment will depend on our particular case.

Some of these treatments work on the coordination between the two eyes and the brain, increasing vision in the amblyopic eye. It generally consists of visual exercises with or without using an eyepatch patch on the non-amblyopic eye. People suffering from strabismus may need surgery on the eye muscles.

podría ser necesaria una cirugía en los músculos oculares. 

However, remember that the eye doctor will be able to determine what causes (or not) the Amblyopia in our case or our child’s case. They will advise us on the most appropriate treatment (or treatments) for our particular situation. Don’t try to auto-evaluate yourself, as specific visual exercises are particular for a specific time in the treatment.

Conclusiones sobre las causas del ojo vago

A Lazy Eye is a visual disorder also known as Amblyopia or lazy eye, which is characterized by poor vision in one eye.

This is because the brain favors the image offered by one eye over the other (the wrongly called lazy eye and, we say, ‘wrongly called Lazy eye’ since the eye itself is not lazy at all.

We’ve also learned that several issues can cause Amblyopia. Some of these causes are strabismus, refractive problems, a difference of graduation between eyes, abnormal visual stimuli, and brain injuries.