What causes lazy eye?

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Aug 17, 2015
Quick Bites

  • Lazy eye is a condition of vision.
  • It results in decreased vision.
  • Condition occurs when brain does not receive signals from eye.
  • Cause of the condition lies in the brain.

Lazy eye, clinically known as amblyopia, is a condition of vision. It usually results in reduced vision in the eye which appears to be normal.


The condition occurs when the brain does not receive visual signals from an eye for a prolonged period. It can also occur when there is no visual processing of one eye to prevent double-vision.

Causes of lazy eye


The cause of lazy eye is within the brain, and detecting the condition in early childhood can result in successful treatment. The earlier the condition detected, the easier it gets to correct vision with glasses or surgery.

Causes of lazy eye

Amblyopia may be caused by any condition that affects normal visual development or use of the eyes. Amblyopia can be caused by strabismus, an imbalance in the positioning of the two eyes. Strabismus can cause the eyes to cross in (esotropia) or turn out (exotropia).

Causes of lazy eye

Sometimes amblyopia is caused when one eye is more nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic than the other eye. Occasionally, amblyopia is caused by other eye conditions such as cataract.

Image source: Getty Images

Read more articles on Amblyopia.

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