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Reston   (703) 485-2148 Leesburg   (703) 777-1244
Reston   (703) 485-2148 Leesburg   (703) 777-1244
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Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye or drifting eye, is a visual development disorder that typically begins in infancy or early childhood. Patients with lazy eye can have impaired vision in one or both eyes because the lazy eye does not stay focused. Although only one eye is usually affected, overall vision can suffer. 

Symptoms of Lazy Eye

  • Wandering eye
  • Crossed eyes  (strabismus)
  • Squinting
  • Tilting of the head to see
  • Poor depth perception

Causes of Lazy Eye 

If the visual signals and focus in one eye are not clear, the good eye will take over the vision process and ignore the other eye. The lazy eye will become weak and vision in that eye will suffer. There are a number of reasons why lazy eye can occur: 

  • Different refractive errors in each eye
  • Misalignment of the eyes
  • Imbalance of eye muscles (strabismus)
  • Droopy eyelids (ptosis)
  • Cataracts

Treatment for Lazy Eye

Prescription glasses typically will not correct amblyopia. Instead, a simple patch treatment to force the brain to use the weak eye is very effective. The strong eye is covered with a patch so the weak eye must work hard to allow clear vision. This process may take weeks or months; it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions to achieve the quickest results. 

We recommend that parents start the lazy eye treatment before age 8 while the visual system is still developing. Any vision loss due to lazy eye after this age may be permanent. 

Contact us today for a referral to a pediatric ophthalmologist. 

Our Locations


12110 Sunset Hills Rd., Suite 50 LL
Reston, VA 20190

Jacqueline Deneen Griffiths, MD


20 Davis Ave. SW
Leesburg, VA 20175

Claiborne M. Callahan, MD

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