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Understanding Amblyopia

Amblyopia, informally known as "lazy eye", can arise from a variety of factors.

"There's a weakness between the brain and the eye connection, and that weakness could come from various reasons," says Dr. Nidhi Rana, Pediatric Optometrist at University Children’s Eye Center.

Among young children, refractive errors are a common cause of the condition. This typically stems from eyeglass prescriptions in which the prescription for one eye is markedly different from the other. In rarer cases, amblyopia could be triggered by glaucoma in one eye, or an obstruction that doesn't allow the eye's visual axis to receive enough light, causing it to become weaker.

"The most common way to treat a lazy eye is with glasses," says Dr. Rana.

Some children may also need their stronger eye to be patched for several hours a day, which can help make their weaker eye stronger. Surgery may be required in exceptional circumstances, though this determination would only be made after the child is properly assessed by a medical professional.

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