What is a lazy eye?

During your eye exam you may notice that we ask if anyone in your family has a lazy.  But what is a lazy eye?  There are two different eye conditions which people often refer to as a lazy eye.  The first one is amblyopia.  The second one is strabismus.  But what’s the difference?
Amblyopia is the loss of visual acuity (what you can see) without any relation to disease of the eye.  In patients with amblyopia their best corrected vision in the poor eye(s) cannot be corrected to 20/20 even with corrective lenses (glasses or contact lenses). Often times the brain blocks out the image from the eye that does not see well.
Strabismus refers to eyes that are not both aligned straight on.  In most cases an eye will turn either left or right, but in some cases the eye may turn up or down. Strabismus can be either paralytic (caused by the paralysis of the extraocular muscles) or nonparalytic.
Often time people with strabismus will also suffer from amblyopia but not all people who suffer from amblyopia will suffer from strabismus.
So, after all that, what is a lazy eye?  When we ask you about a lazy eye we are referring to amblyopia, when one eye is unable to see as well as the other.
If you ever have questions about conditions of your eyes schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at Smart EyeCare Center.

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