Amblyopia is poor vision in an eye that didn’t develop normal sight during early childhood. It is sometimes called “lazy eye”.

Amblyopia is caused by any condition that affects normal use of the eyes and visual development.

It has been estimated to affect 1–5% of the population.

If not properly treated, amblyopia can cause several problems:

  • The amblyopia eye may develop serious and permanent vision loss
  • Depth perceptions (seeing in three dimensions) may be lost
  • If the good eye becomes diseased or injured, a lifetime of poor vision may result

Treatment usually done by patching the strong eye, often for weeks or months. The weak eye is strengthened because it forces the child to use it. Your child must wear the patch everyday. Many children will not like to wear the patch.

  • Do not have them wear the patch while sleeping. Patching must be done while your child is awake.
  • Do not discontinue patching until your next appointment, even if you see a change in the other eye or the eye starts to turn in or out.
  • Do not use pirate patches.
  • If your child is wearing glasses, he/she should keep wearing the glasses and put the patch on the eye, not on the glasses.
  • If your child gets a red mark or rash on their face from the patch, put a small layer of Milk of Magnesia on the rash and let it dry. Then apply the patch on top of the dried Milk of Magnesia.