Amblyopia 'Lazy Eye' FAQ's

Q. Why is the eye “lazy”?
A. While the colloquialism ‘lazy eye’ is frequently used to refer to amblyopia, the term is inaccurate because there is no laziness of the eye involved in the condition. For a variety of reasons the brain fails to make the normal neural connections necessary for sight.

Q. How does this happen?
A. Common causes are a misalignment of the eyes, uncorrected refractive error (short-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism), or an obstruction in the line of vision e.g. a cataract.

Q .Does this affect both eyes?
A. Usually only one eye is affected.
Detecting the condition in early childhood increases the chance of successful treatment.

Q. What can I do to check for this in my child?
A. Get your child’s eyes checked by your Plunket Nurse, Public Health Nurse or GP.
You can come to Eye Specialists directly for a full eye health check.
You will have a range of tests done by our ophthalmic technician before seeing the ophthalmologist.
The pupils of the eyes will be dilated using eye drops for the ophthalmologist to have a look into the eye.

Q. What will happen if my child has amblyopia?
A. Treatment is individualised and may include glasses, drops, patching, surgery or a combination of these.