Amblyopia is a condition that occurs when there is a reduction of vision in one eye that is not correctable with glasses. Amblyopia, which is often called “lazy eye,” is most common in infants and children, but it can also occur in adults. Amblyopia is not contagious.

There are two common types of amblyopia:

  • Anisometropic amblyopia occurs when the vision in one eye differs from the other. This is often caused by a large difference in eyeglass prescription. The difference may be caused by one eye being more nearsighted or farsighted than the other or caused by large differences in astigmatism. In general, people who have anisometropic amblyopia are often asymptomatic (showing no signs of the condition).
  • Strabismic amblyopia occurs when there is a visible misalignment (crossing) of one eye.

Strabismic Amblyopia
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If you suspect that you or your child has this condition, contact the doctor. The sooner amblyopia is treated, the more favorable the outcome.

Amblyopia is caused when the brain prefers (favors) one eye to the other. The brain’s preference (liking) for one eye over the other can weaken and reduce vision in the eye that is less used.

There are no apparent genetic or environmental factors that can be attributed to causing amblyopia.