What causes amblyopia?

What causes amblyopia?

Amblyopia, commonly known as ‘lazy eye’ is the condition diagnosed by Eye doctor in Islamabad whereby both the eyes don’t work together to focus on the same point  and thus don’t see clearly. This condition occurs due to poor teaming of the eyes and weak vision in one eye. Amblyopia occur from birth till about seven years of age. Read on to know more about amblyopia, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

What is amblyopia?

Amblyopia is the deficit of visual development due to poor vision in one eye that result in poor development of the visual areas of the brain. This condition occurs in about 3 per 100 children.

Poor vision in one eye is the primary cause of amblyopia. Due to the poor vision, this eye—termed lazy eye—becomes weak and does not communicate well with the brain and the other eye. Consequently, the brain stops receiving signals from this eye and it can deviate outwards or inwards.

Early diagnosis and management can go a long way in restoring complete vision and preventing the complications of amblyopia from occurring. The treatment of amblyopia ranges from vision restoration through glasses, eye patching, contact lenses and even surgery if need be.

What are the symptoms of amblyopia?

The symptoms of amblyopia are:

  • Inwards or outwards deviation of the eye
  • Poor depth perception
  • Uncoordinated eyes
  • Tilting of head especially when using the stairs
  • Poor vision
  • Shutting of an eye

What causes amblyopia?

The causes of amblyopia include the following:

  • High refractive errors: as mentioned before, the lazy eye is often the one with poor vision. Commonly, this is due to high refractive errors like myopia (near sightedness), hypermetropia (farsightedness) or astigmatism (blurry vision). In case of high errors, the brain gets a very blurry or distorted image from this eye. Over time, the brain learns to ignore the vision from this eye and focuses instead on the eye with more clear visual input. Over time, the lazy eye becomes worse and can even deviate outwards.
  • Squint or strabismus: this is the disorder in which both eyes do not look at the same direction, at the same time. Instead, there is upward, downward, inward or outward deviation of one eye—called manifest squint, or hidden squint which is discovered on covering one eye. Squint occurs due to muscular disorders in which one eye muscle overpowers the other, muscular weakness of one eye muscle or due to poor nerve stimuli to the muscles. Head tilt is also common in patients with squint.

In case of squint, the patients have troubling making one image in the visual field. As a result, the brain suppresses or ignores vision from one eye, and focuses on one eye.

  • Congenital cataract: this is the clouding of the natural lens of the eye due to certain congenital infections that can disrupt the penetration of light onto the retina. As a result, the brain suppresses vision from the eye with the cataract and focuses on the other eye. This makes one eye amblyopic.
  • Ptosis or dropping of the eyelid: this is another cause of disrupted vision due to drooping of the eyelid. There are many causes of drooped eyelid, including weakness of the muscle supporting the eyelid. Over time, the vision from this side of the eye is blocked by the brain and the eye turns amblyopic.

How is amblyopia diagnosed?

The diagnosis of amblyopia begins with complete visual assessment to check for difference between the two eyes, including dilated retinoscopy.

In addition, the eye is examined using dilating eye drops to check for the presence of cataract.

What are the risk factors of amblyopia?

The risk factors of amblyopia include:

  • Disabilities since birth
  • Premature babies
  • Low birth weight babies
  • Family history of amblyopia

What are the complications of amblyopia?

Without proper diagnosis, Treatment And Management, there can be complete visual loss of the lazy eye. This means that one eye becomes permanently blind.

How is amblyopia treated?

The treatment of amblyopia is tailored according to the patient by Best Eye Specialist in Rawalpindi. It is recommended to start with correction of refractive error, patching of good eye, and ptosis surgery for better vision.


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