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Types of Amblyopia or Lazy Eye


3 min


Types of Amblyopia or Lazy Eye

Amblyopia, commonly known as “lazy eye,” is a vision disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by reduced vision in one or both eyes. It occurs due to the brain’s inability to process visual information correctly. In this blog post, we will discuss different types of amblyopia or lazy eye.

What is Amblyopia?

Amblyopia or lazy eye is a disorder that practically never arises on its own.

It is a disorder which is triggered by an underlying pathology that defines the type of amblyopia. Whilst the impairment of visual function as well as amblyopia treatment may be similar regardless of amblyopia type, it is important to differentiate them so that each type can be addressed as effectively as possible.

Lazy eye is characterized by reduced vision in one or both eyes.

Types of Amblyopia or Lazy Eye

Anisometropic (Refractive) Amblyopia

Causes of Refractive Lazy Eye

This type of amblyopia arises due to unrecognized refractive differences between the two eyesanisometropia. It is arguably the most frequent type of amblyopia and unfortunately, the hardest one to recognize, as the eyes of children with anisometropia appear perfectly normal to the naked eye.

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Refractive errors include conditions like nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or astigmatism.

With a notable difference in refractive power between the two eyes, one retina gets a much clearer image than the other. The brain may favor the eye with better focus, which leads to the development of amblyopia in the eye with the lesser image quality.

Treatment of Refractive Lazy Eye

Thankfully, the treatment is usually simple and effective. Some children will respond to correct refractive correction alone, others will benefit from the addition of patching, penalization and/or vision therapy.

Strabismic Amblyopia

As prevalent as the anisometropic type, this type of amblyopia arises due to misalignment of the two eyesstrabismus.

Causes of Strabismic Lazy Eye

Strabismus causes the eyes to point in different directions, leading to a lack of coordination between them. As a result, the brain receives conflicting visual inputs and may suppress or ignore the signals from one eye, causing amblyopia.

Treatment of Strabismic Lazy Eye

Reasons that cause the eyes to deviate vary and a strabismus specific treatment such as specialized prism glasses or surgery is often needed to address the issue thoroughly. Whether the amblyopia specific treatment should be initiated before, during, or after managing the cause of strabismus is usually decided on an individual basis.

Although different types of amblyopia are treated differently – according to the cause – any type of amblyopia can benefit immensely from vision training such as AmblyoPlay.

Get your AmblyoPlay Vision Therapy today!

Deprivation Amblyopia

This is arguably the rarest and most severe form of amblyopia. It arises when visual axis is obstructed early in the development of vision – usually within the first months on one’s life. In other words, vision is obstructed or deprived during the critical period of visual development.

Causes of Deprivation Lazy Eye

Various causes include ptosis, corneal opacities, and congenital cataract.

Treatment of Deprivation Lazy Eye

The treatment depends on the underlying cause (ptosis correction, cataract extraction, etc.) and must be initiated early in order to prevent permanent impairment of vision. However, if the deprivation occurs beyond the critical period, treatment may be less effective in restoring normal vision.

Conclusion: Types of Amblyopia or Lazy Eye

Understanding the different types of amblyopia and their causes is crucial for early detection and appropriate treatment. Whether it is refractive, strabismic or deprivation, a combination of corrective measures, including eyeglasses, vision therapy, eye patching, or surgical interventions, can help improve vision and alleviate the effects of amblyopia.

P.S.: If you are not completely new to our website you will know that much of today’s blog’s topic has already been discussed extensively in some of our past contributions. Should you be interested to find out more about every particular matter please follow the links provided in the text.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is amblyopia?

Amblyopia, commonly known as “lazy eye,” is a vision disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by reduced vision in one or both eyes. It occurs due to the brain’s inability to process visual information correctly. 

What types of amblyopia do we know?

We can divide it into three groups: anisometropic (refractive), strabismic, and deprivation amblyopia.

Can AmblyoPlay help treat amblyopia?

Yes. One of the treatment approaches includes vision therapy, and AmblyoPlay was developed to treat lazy eyes.

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Why Do We Suggest a Minimum Time of 6 Months for Success?

Based on the data from over 15,000 patients using AmblyoPlay, improvements start within 4 months, while optimal results take anywhere between 6-18 months on average. The duration of required training depends on the patient’s age, the severity of the problem, accompanying diseases, and adherence to the training program.

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