Lazy eye : How to determine whether you have a lazy eye?


Early abnormal visual development leads to lazy eye (amblyopia), or reduced vision in one eye. The weaker or slower eye has a tendency to wander more frequently inside or outward.

Up to the age of seven, amblyopia often occurs from birth. It is the major cause of children's deteriorating vision. Seldom do both eyes have lazy eyes.

Your child's visual issues might be prevented in the long run with early detection and treatment. Often, patching therapy, contact lenses, or glasses can rectify the eye's worse vision.


Lazy eyes develop as a result of early aberrant visual experiences that change the nerve connections between the brain and the retina, a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye. There are fewer visual impulses sent to the weaker eye. When the ability of the eyes to work together decreases, the brain eventually rejects or suppresses signals from the weaker eye.

Lazy eyes can be brought on by anything that impairs a child's vision or causes their eyes to cross or turn out. The following list of common reasons is provided:

Muscular inequity (strabismus amblyopia). The most common cause of sleepy eyes is an imbalance in the muscles that position the eyes. The eyes might cross or turn out due to this imbalance, which inhibits them from cooperating.

Deprivation. An issue with one eye, such as a cataract, might prevent that eye from having clear vision. Early intervention is necessary for infants with deprivation amblyopia in order to prevent irreversible visual loss. Often, it is the most severe kind of amblyopia.

How to determine whether you have a lazy eye?

See your child's doctor if you notice that your child's eye has started to wander after the first few weeks of life. If there is a family history of crossed eyes, childhood cataracts, or other eye disorders, getting your eyesight checked is very vital.

Between the ages of three and five, a thorough eye examination is advised for all children.

Risk Factors

The following are some factors linked to an increased incidence of a lazy eye:

  • Birth prematurely
  • A little birthweight
  • Family history of developmental problems and lazy eyes


Lazy eye symptoms and signs include:

  • A sideways or inward-looking eye
  • Lack of coordination between the eyes 
  • Weak depth perception
  • Blinking or closing one's eye
  • Head cocked
  • Abnormal screening test results for eyesight

Without an eye checkup, lazy eyes may not always be noticeable.

A lazy eye is frequently discovered during an eye exam since it does not usually show symptoms.

The primary signs are:

  • Squinting or closing one eye while viewing objects with several eyes pointing in various directions (a squint)
  • While staring at anything, tilting your head back and wiping your eyes excessively, being unable to follow an item or person with your eyes
  • Difficulties catching or throwing, frequent trips to the floor, and excessive blinking

Many children do not even realise they have visual issues.

A smaller child's eyes can be checked by individually covering each one with your palm. If you hide their good sight, they could object.

Older children could claim they cannot see with 1 eye and may experience difficulties in reading, writing, and drawing.


While the intricate connections between the eye and the brain are still developing in childhood, it is critical to begin therapy for the lazy eye as soon as possible. Although half of the children between the ages of 7 and 17 respond to treatment, the best outcomes are shown when treatment begins before age 7.

Options for treatment vary depending on the underlying cause of lazy eye and how much it is impairing your child's vision. Your doctor could advise:

Prescription eyeglasses. Glasses or contact lenses can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, which are symptoms of lazy eyes.


Eye shields. Your youngster wears an eye patch over the eye with superior vision for two to six or more hours a day in order to stimulate the weaker eye. On rare occasions, if an eye patch is worn for an extended period of time, amblyopia may develop in the patched eye. It is typically reversible, though.

Stronger filter. This special filter is applied to the eyeglass lens of the stronger eye. The filter works similarly to an eye patch in that it blurs the stronger eye while stimulating the weaker eye.

Eyedrops. After getting an eyedrop of the medication atropine, the vision of the better eye may become momentarily fuzzy (Isopto Atropine). The drops, which are often given for daily or weekend usage, encourage your youngster to utilise the weaker eye and provide an alternative to a patch. Light sensitivity and eye discomfort are side effects.

Surgery. If your child develops cataracts or drooping eyelids that result in severe amblyopia, surgery may be necessary. With the right glasses, if your child's eyes still cross or drift apart, your doctor may advise a surgical correction to straighten the eyes in addition to other lazy eye remedies.

There are activity-based therapies available, including those that include painting, solving puzzles, or playing video games. There is no evidence to support the efficacy of including these activities in other therapy. New therapies are still being investigated.

Most youngsters with sluggish eyes see better within a few weeks to months after receiving the correct therapy. Between six months and two years may pass during treatment.

The recurrence of lazy eye, which can occur in up to 25% of children with the syndrome, should be closely watched in your child. Treatment must start over if the lazy eye reappears.

The cause of lazy eye will determine how it is treated.

Enhancing vision in the weaker eye is the goal of treatment for lazy eyes.

This could comprise:

  • Using eyewear to improve your eyesight
  • Utilising eye drops to temporarily impair vision in the stronger eye while putting an eye patch over it for a few hours each day for several months.

Prior to the age of seven, when vision is still developing, treatment should begin.

You could require surgery if your lazy eye is brought on by cataracts or a drooping eyelid.

If you squint, surgery can also be necessary. Although your eyes will be straighter and able to operate more effectively together, your vision will not be enhanced.

Complications of Lazy Eye

If untreated, lazy eyes can permanently impair eyesight.


For further information please access the following resources:

Emergency : +91 89686 77907

Front Desk : +91 98018 79584

Page last reviewed: Mar 16, 2023

Next review due: Mar 16, 2025

Call us

Emergency : +91 89686 77907

Front Desk : +91 98018 79584

Follow us