Amblyopia | Causes & Risk Factors


What causes amblyopia?

Anything that happens to blur a child’s vision or cause the eyes to become crossed may cause amblyopia. For example, children who have strabismus (also called “crossed eyes”), cataracts, a droopy eyelid or who need glasses to see better may get amblyopia.

All babies are born with poor eyesight. As babies grow, their eyesight gets better. In order to develop good eyesight, both eyes needs to provide a clear, focused image that is the same in both eyes. If the image isn't clear in one eye or if the image isn't the same in both eyes, the child gets a different picture from each eye. The child’s brain naturally tries to fix this problem by blocking out the picture from the weaker eye. If the problem is not fixed when the child is young, the child’s brain will always ignore pictures from the weak eye, causing amblyopia.


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Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 09/99