August is Amblyopia Awareness Month
Amblyopia (lazy eye) is the loss or lack of development of vision in an eye that is unrelated to any eye health problem. The brain does not acknowledge the images seen by the ambloyopic eye. Reduced vision due to amblyopia is not always correctable with lenses alone.
Amblyopia is the result of poor early visual development, and as such, usually occurs before the age of eight. Infants born prematurely or with low birth weight are at a greater risk for the development of this condition. Amblyopia usually results from a failure to fully use both eyes together. It can be caused by the presence of strabismus (crossed eyes), unequal refractive error (farsightedness or nearsightedness), or a physical obstruction (cataract).
Amblyopia usually produces few symptoms because the child has good vision out of one eye. Unless caught at an early age, amblyopia is difficult to treat, and after a certain age, the child may never attain normal 20/20 in the amblyopic eye. I strongly recommend that all children have their first eye examination by an optometrist before they enter kindergarten or first grade.