Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

What is a lazy eye?

Amblyopia is commonly termed “lazy eye.” It refers to a loss of vision in the eye that is not correctable by lenses but is also not due to actual damage to the photoreceptors or optic nerves.

Amblyopia can be caused by strabismus (eye turn), obstruction, or a significant difference in prescription. This happens because vision is a learned skill and will not develop properly without the right conditions.

If the brain is ignoring the eye during critical periods of development the ability to “see” through that eye will be compromised.

Amblyopia will affect the efficiency of the visual system (as it loses the advantage of being binocular).  This is a major part of reading and learning as well as coordinating one’s actions for sports and navigating through one’s surroundings.  Patients with amblyopia will have some level of depth perception but it will be greatly reduced.

How is it treated?

In the past it was thought that there was a small window of time  for amblyopia treatment (up until the age of 12). Recent findings have shown that amblyopia treatment can take place at any age (although it may take a little longer), and that vision therapy is the most effective treatment.  We are proud to offer amblyopia treatment in Victoria.


It used to be believed (and still is in some circles) that patching was the only way to treat amblyopia because patching forces the brain to pay attention to the weaker eye. While patching can lead to some improvement in what the amblyopic eye can see, it does not necessarily improve the ability to use both eyes together. Patching can also be a very difficult procedure with patients young and old because it is uncomfortable and cosmetically challenging.

Often, after patching regimens, the amblyopic eye has shown an improvement in acuity (letters on the chart) but the brain is still not using both eyes together in an efficient and accurate manner.  See the Binocular Vision page.  This can cause difficulties in reading and learning, sports, depth perception, and symptoms such as headaches.


Vision therapy deals with amblyopia by building the visual skills of the affected eye on its own — as well as both eyes together — so that the brain can be taught to pay attention to and use both channels of input.  Our Clinical Research page can provide you with studies about vision therapy and amblyopia (lazy eye).

To book an appointment to learn more about vision therapy or amblyopia treatment in Victoria, please contact McCrodan Vision Development here.

For more information, please visit our Helpful Links page.

Browse Our Education Sections

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Vision and Reading/Attention

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Hyperopia (farsighted) As a general rule this means that these individuals use some focus power to see in the distance, and even more for up close. Myopia (nearsighted) ...



Amblyopia Commonly referred to as a ‘lazy eye’, amblyopia can come in different forms, but is a problem with a lack of development of communication between the eye and ...

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What is Vision?

Is seeing clearly (20/20) really enough? Did you know that being able to see clearly is only a small part of what makes up your vision? In fact, there are closer to 17 ...

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Victoria BC V8T 1E5


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Wednesday: 10:00am - 6:00pm

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Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm

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