Amblyopia usually starts when one eye has much better focus than the other eye. For example, one eye might be very nearsighted or have a lot of astigmatism, while the other does not. When the child's brain is confronted with both a blurry image and a clear image, it will begin to ignore the blurry image. If this goes on for months or years, the vision in the eye that sees the blurry image will deteriorate.
Another cause of amblyopia is strabismus. Strabismus is an ocular misalignment, meaning that one eye turns inward or outward. This prevents the eyes from focusing together on an image and can cause double vision. In order to combat this, the child's brain generally chooses to ignore the image from the deviated eye, causing the vision in that eye to deteriorate. Because one of the eyes is misaligned, some people refer to this as a "lazy eye."
Other children cannot see well in one eye because something blocks light from getting through. This could be due, among other causes, to a cataract or a small amount of blood or other material in the back of the eye.
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Archived: March 20, 2014
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