Patient Care


What is Amblyopia?

Amblyopia, known as “lazy eye”, is a condition where there is reduced vision in an eye that has not received adequate use during early childhood. Amblyopia is not an eye disease and cannot be corrected directly by glasses or contact lenses. Due to the way the brain is developed, it does not fully acknowledge the images seen by the amblyopic eye. This mostly affects only one eye but may also affect both eyes. It is estimated that three per cent of children under six years have some form of Amblyopia. If not detected and treated early enough, Amblyopia can lead to a permanent loss of vision.

What are the signs & symptoms of Amblyopia?

The only way to detect Amblyopia early is to have sight tests regularly throughout childhood. Children should be checked at birth, at six months, and then annually until they are seven or eight years old. If there is any suspicion of poor vision or crossed eyes, it is advisable to bring your child to an optician, GP or eye surgeon earlier.

What are the treatment options for Amblyopia?

With early diagnosis and treatment, the sight in the "lazy eye" can be restored. The earlier the treatment, the better the opportunity to reverse the vision loss. Amblyopia can usually be successfully treated up to the age of seven, but treatment for older children may sometimes be successful in improving vision and can be attempted.

Before treating Amblyopia, it is necessary to first treat the underlying cause.

  • Glasses are commonly prescribed to improve focusing or misalignment of the eyes.
  • Surgery may be performed on the eye muscles to straighten the eyes. This works by allowing the eyes to work together better.

The correction may be followed by:

  • Patching or covering one eye may be required. The better-seeing eye is patched, forcing the "lazy" one to work, thereby strengthening its vision.
  • Medication, in the form of eye drops or ointment, may be used to blur the vision of the good eye in order to force the weaker one to work.
Find A Doctor

Click here to access our Find A Doctor directory for a list of doctors treating this condition across our NUHS institutions.

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  • National University Hospital
  • Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
  • Alexandra Hospital
  • Jurong Community Hospital
  • National University Polyclinics
  • Jurong Medical Centre
  • National University Cancer Institute, Singapore
  • National University Heart Centre, Singapore
  • National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore
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  • Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
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