Healthsheet

Strabismus and Amblyopia: An Introduction

Strabismus and Amblyopia: An Introduction

Strabismus and amblyopia are two common vision problems in children. If not treated, these problems can permanently affect your child's sight. Your child won't outgrow strabismus or amblyopia. But both can be treated. Early eye exams and the right treatment now can improve your child's vision for life.


Boy sitting on man's lap in exam chair. Health care provider with finger puppet is examining boy's eyes.

Strabismus

Strabismus occurs when a child's eyes aren't aligned (straight). This means the eyes don't work together, which can prevent normal vision from developing. If not treated, strabismus may lead to amblyopia.

Amblyopia

Amblyopia is poor vision that occurs when the brain ignores one or both eyes. This often means only one eye is being used. If not treated early, amblyopia may keep a child from developing normal vision.

What Can Be Done?

When treated young, a child with strabismus or amblyopia has good chances of overcoming these problems. But its crucial to get treatment while the eyes are still developing. By helping with treatment, you can increase your child's chances of success.

  • Your role: Your child's vision will improve only with your help. Take your child to visit the eye doctor as scheduled. Make sure the eye doctor's instructions are followed and make treatment fun for your child. Also, talk to the eye doctor about any concerns that you or your child have.

  • The eye doctor's role: After doing a full eye exam, the eye doctor will explain your child's vision problems. Then, he or she will recommend the best course of treatment. At follow-up visits, the eye doctor will see how well treatment is working. As your child's vision improves, new treatments will be suggested as needed.


There Are No Lazy Eyes

You may have heard terms such as "lazy eye," "squint," and "wandering eye" to describe strabismus and amblyopia. These terms are vague and don`t take into account how serious strabismus and amblyopia are. It's best to learn the proper names for your child`s vision problems.



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