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Research to Prevent Blindness

Amblyopia & Strabismus

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Amblyopia refers to reduced vision due to incorrect signaling between the eye and brain. Commonly referred to as "lazy eye," it usually only affects one eye. Early detection and treatment are key, since vision suppression can be rapid and permanent.  

Strabismus, a condition of misaligned eyes, is the most common cause of amblyopia. When the eyes point in different directions, two separate images are sent to the brain, resulting in double vision. The brain suppresses activity of the misaligned eye in order to form a single image, which results in an amblyopic eye and loss of depth perception.

Treatment

Amblyopia is the leading cause of visual impairment in children, occurring in 5% of the population. Amblyopia is treated by making the affected eye work harder to encourage its development. Vision in the strong eye is blocked by use of a patch or eye drops that blur the vision. 

Strabismus is usually treated by surgery to shorten or reposition the muscles around the eye. Misaligned eyes may also be corrected by drugs that either strengthen or weaken extraocular muscles.

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