Amblyopia or “lazy eye” is one of the most common vision problems in children. And it can be difficult for parents, and even pediatricians, to spot. At Nemours, our pediatric ophthalmologists are trained to provide early, age-appropriate vision screenings to catch eye problems, like lazy eye in children, before they can impact your child’s visual health.
Amblyopia is responsible for more vision loss in children than any other causes. With amblyopia, vision is decreased when one eye (or both) sends a blurry image to the brain. The brain then “learns” to see blurry and essentially “turns off” that eye to favor the stronger eye.
Underlying causes of lazy eye in children may include refractive errors such as astigmatism or farsightedness, strabismus (a misaligned eye) or a cataract (cloudiness of the lens). Treatment for amblyopia involves strengthening vision by forcing the brain to see images in the blurry eye.
Often there are no readily identifiable symptoms of lazy eye since kids usually don’t notice a difference in vision. However, if your child struggles in school or athletics, an ophthalmologic disorder like amblyopia might be the cause.
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Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
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Pediatric ophthalmologists at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando diagnose and treat lazy eye in children (amblyopia). Our goal is to begin treatment for amblyopia as early as possible when the eye is still developing and better able to be corrected. Early eye screening and evaluation for pediatric ophthalmologic problems are important for your child’s clear vision.
Lazy Eye (Amblyopia) Treatment for Children in Central Florida
Amblyopia is a common eye condition that occurs when the eye and the brain aren’t working together as they should. Treatment for lazy eye in children may involve prescription glasses, occlusion therapy (covering one eye with a patch) or blurring the vision in one eye with atropine drops.
Blocking or blurring the vision in the “good eye” with a patch or with painless eye drops helps stimulate the brain to learn to use the other eye. It usually takes a few weeks for your child’s vision to improve and the best results may be achieved over several months depending on the child’s age and level of vision. Maintenance treatment until 9–10 years of age may also be necessary.
Surgery may be used to treat strabismus (only one cause of lazy eye in children), but it is often not performed before treating the amblyopia with patches, glasses and/or atropine.
Expert, Comprehensive Pediatric Ophthalmology Services at Nemours Children's Hospital
The pediatric ophthalmologists at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Orlando know kids, and how to make kids feel comfortable. This means we have the expertise to perform comprehensive evaluations and high-quality exams on children of all ages, even babies, that can result in more accurate diagnoses. Our providers also have unique expertise working with children who have special health care needs.
At Nemours, we recognize the importance of the family in the care and healing process. Because many of the children we see have chronic illnesses that require repeated visits, we build strong relationships with our families that foster respect, dignity and collaboration. We’re also committed to educating children and families about the medical condition, and how best to manage it. Our goal is to get your child back to the business of being a kid as quickly as possible.
No matter where your child receives care at Nemours, your medical team (including your primary care provider) can access your child’s medical history, test results and visit notes anytime through our award-winning electronic health record system.
You can also view parts of your child's health records, communicate with your Nemours care team, make appointments, request prescription refills and more through our MyNemours online patient portal.