First, any eye condition that is causing poor vision in the amblyopic eye (such as cataracts) needs to be corrected.
Children with a refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism) will need glasses.
Next, a patch is placed on the normal eye. This forces the brain to recognize the image from the eye with amblyopia. Sometimes, drops are used to blur the vision of the normal eye instead of putting a patch on it.
For treatment of crossed eyes, see: Strabismus
Children whose vision will not fully recover, and those with only good eye due to any disorder should wear glasses with protective polycarbonate lenses. Polycarbonate glasses are shatter- and scratch-resistant.
Children who get treated before age 5 will usually recover almost completely normal vision, although they may continue to have problems with depth percention.
Delaying treatment can result in permanent vision problems. After age 10, only a partial recovery of vision can be expected.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider or ophthalmologist if you suspect a vision problem in a young child.
Olitsky SE, Hug D, Smith LP. Disorders of vision. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 620.
Olitsky SE, Coats DK. Amblyopia and its management. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2009:chap 10.
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