What is Amblyopia (lazy eye)?

Amblyopia , or lazy eye , affects 4% of the world population and is characterized by a more or less marked reduction of vision in one eye or, more rarely, of both. It depends on an altered transmission of the nerve signal between the eye and the brain, for which the latter favors one eye due to the reduced visual acuity of the other.

The lazy eye , or  amblyopia , can be determined by ocular pathologies during the development of the visual apparatus in childhood (0-6 years) that prevent the light stimulus from reaching the retina (for example cataracts in children, very often congenital ) In the majority of cases, it appears in perfectly intact anatomically. In these eyes the correct sensory stimulation of the visual apparatus is altered, very often due to incorrect refractive defects. At the current state of knowledge, it can be treated with a more or less complete chance of success only  within the first 5-6 years of life .

What are the causes of the lazy eye?

The most common causes of amblyopia are:

  • strabismus, that is, an abnormal alignment of the eyes, caused by a defect in the neuro-muscular mechanisms that control their movements
  • congenital cataract and eyelid ptosis
  • anisometropia, that is a different refraction between the two eyes

What are the symptoms?

The signs and symptoms of amblyopia , or lazy eye , are very rarely reported by the patient because he is often too small to report a lower vision in one eye than the other. It is for this reason that it is recommended to make a first eye examination to the child, even in the absence of symptoms, within 3-4 years of age. Currently there is a tendency to further anticipate the first visit so that it is carried out within the first year of life.

The diagnosis

It is necessary to undergo a pediatric and orthoptic ophthalmology visit.

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