Amblyopia is the medical term used to describe the condition more commonly known as lazy eye. Amblyopia is what happens when there is abnormal visual development in infancy and early childhood. The brain and the eye work together to produce vision, light enters the eye and is changed into nerve signals that travel along the optic nerve to the brain. When the eye and brain are not working together properly, vision will be less than optimum. The eye itself will appear normal, but it is not being used optimally because the brain visual function is compromised.
Amblyopia is the most common cause of visual impairment in childhood. Unless it is successfully treated in early childhood amblyopia usually persists into adulthood, and is the most common cause of one eye visual impairment among children and middle-aged adults. Primary care doctors often check vision as a routine part of well-child checkups, especially if there's a family history of crossed eyes, childhood cataracts or other eye conditions. The normal symptoms of amblyopia are: an eye that wanders inward or outward, eyes that may not appear to work together and poor depth perception. If you notice your child is experiencing any of these symptoms you should schedule an examination with your child's primary care doctor. In most cases doctors can correct lazy eye with eye patches, eye drops, and glasses or contact lenses. In rare cases lazy eye will be treated surgically.