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Amblyopia Definition

Amblyopia, commonly known as “lazy eye”, is a visual system disorder characterized by poor vision in one of the eyes. However, the affected eye remains physically normal or out of proportion. This condition affects 1% to 5% of the global population. Poor or no transmission of the visual images to the brain causes lazy eye. This condition usually affects only one eye, but it could occur in both eyes if both are similarly deprived of clear visual images. However, if detected early in life, the chance of successful treatment increases.

Amblyopia Symptoms and Signs

Majority of people with amblyopia are not aware they are suffering from the condition until tested when they are older because the vision in the stronger eye is usually normal. However, severe cases of amblyopia may affect patients with visual disorders, such as poor depth perception. Patients with amblyopia suffer from low sensitivity to contrast, poor spatial acuity and serious deficits to vision, including reduced sensitivity to any kind of motion. These types of deficits usually affect only the amblyopic eye. Amblyopia patients also suffer from binocular vision problems, such as limited depth perception and difficulty seeing 3D images. However, perception of motion, size and perspective remains normal.

Amblyopia Treatment

Treatments of amblyopia include forcing the use of amblyopic eye and correcting optical deficit. This could be done by instilling topical atropine and patching the good eye. Patients should also be cautious of over-patching the good eye during treatment because this could create a reverse amblyopia in the good eye. “Form deprivation amblyopia” is treated by removing opacity after patching the good eye. This is to encourage using the amblyopic eye.

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