Surgical treatments for lazy eye are risky as they alter the alignment of muscles within the eyes, reports Bausch and Lomb. Patching the strong eye to make the other one work harder to develop strength or using eyeglasses to address differences in vision between the eyes are more common treatments.
Lazy eye, also known as amblyopia, frequently develops early in life, generally before the age of 6, but the first symptoms are not always clear. Early diagnosis generally elevates the likelihood of successful treatment, which is why pediatricians recommend full eye exams at 6 months of age and then again at the age of 3. Patients with lazy eye have eyes that point two different ways, or they favor one eye over the other, leading to faulty depth perception and poorer vision in one of the eyes, as stated by Bausch and Lomb.
Lazy eye may be the result of differences in vision; the condition of strabismus, in which the eyes cross; or other conditions, such as cataracts, refractive problems and upper eyelid drooping. If the eyes do not work together and send the brain identical pictures, one eye is out of focus in comparison to the other. The brain tends to ignore the image that is out of focus, and that eye ends up being underused and even weakens a bit, according to Bausch and Lomb.