amblyopia: A disconnect between the eye and the brain

Good vision requires that both eyes and the brain work together.

Amblyopia, often referred to as lazy eye, occurs when the brain suppresses visual input from one eye, which causes vision to be blurry or distorted.

amblyopia: A disconnect between the eye and the brain

Good vision requires that both eyes and the brain work together.

Amblyopia, often referred to as lazy eye, occurs when the brain suppresses visual input from one eye, which causes vision to be blurry or distorted.

How the Brain Sees icon

How the Brain Sees

Normally, the brain receives 2 images at slightly different angles, and it combines them to produce a 3-dimensional (3D) image. This is not the case with amblyopia.

With amblyopia, the brain suppresses the information that comes from the affected eye, which turns off binocular vision.

Common signs and symptoms include:

amblyopia image

An eye that wanders
inward or outward

amblyopia image

Eyes that appear to
not work together

amblyopia imagePoor depth
perception

amblyopia image

Squinting or
shutting an eye

amblyopia image

Head
tilting

If left untreated, amblyopia can lead to permanent visual impairment

Nearly 3% of adults experience permanent vision loss because of amblyopia

Clipboard icon

The facts—amblyopia:

  • Affects between 3% to 5% of children under the age of 6
  • Can result in permanent vision problems in children as early as age 10 without treatment
  • Affects more than 6 million adults in the US, who are untreated for the condition
  • Affects all races and genders
  • Affects more than 9 million people in the US and more than 210 million people worldwide
  • Is responsible for more vision loss in people 45 years and younger than all other eye diseases and trauma combined
  • Is significantly more difficult to correct as an adult if not corrected during childhood

3 possible causes that can lead to visual confusion

Amblyopia occurs when the affected eye sends blurry or distorted images to the brain. Because the brain doesn’t know how to interpret these visuals, it may learn to suppress visual inputs from the affected eye. Amblyopia occurs when the affected eye sends blurry or distorted images to the brain. Because the brain doesn’t know how to interpret these visuals, it may learn to suppress visual inputs from the affected eye.

There are 3 common types of amblyopia:

  • Refractive amblyopia causes light to bend on the retina, leading to blurry vision in that eye.
  • Strabismic amblyopia causes the familiar crossed-eyed appearance, which leads the brain to suppress visual input from the eye that is not straight.
  • Deprivation amblyopia occurs when light is partially or completely blocked from entering into the affected eye. This type of amblyopia may affect both eyes. Common causes include cataracts (a clouding of the lens) and ptosis (a droopy eyelid that sits low enough to block the light from entering into the eye).


*National Eye Institute. Facts about amblyopia. nei.nih.gov/health/amblyopia/amblyopia_guide. Accessed June 29, 2017.

Amblyopia affects more than just the eyes

Amblyopia can have a significant impact on children and adults, beyond their vision. The condition may cause some to struggle with a negative self-image, making it difficult to keep up in school or to participate in sports and other activities. Poor eyesight may also make it difficult to drive, find work, and maintain a sense of autonomy.

Low Self Esteem Icon

Site map          Privacy Policy          Contact us

Amblyotech is a registered trademark of Amblyotech, Inc. • All other marks used herein are the property of their respective owners. • ©2017 Amblyotech, Inc. All rights reserved.