Amblyopia is poor vision in an eye that did not develop normal sight during early childhood. It is sometimes called “lazy eye”. When one eye develops good vision while the other does not, the eye with poorer vision is called amblyopic. Usually, only one eye is affected by amblyopia, but it is possible for both eyes to be “lazy”. The condition is common, affecting approximately two or three out of every 100 people. The best time to correct amblyopia is during infancy or early childhood.
Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is closely related to strabismus. Children learn to suppress double vision so effectively that the deviating eye gradually loses vision. It may be necessary to patch the good eye and wear glasses before treating the strabismus. Amblyopia does not occur when the child alternates use of the deviated eyes. Adults do not develop amblyopia.