Misdiagnosed lazy eye

Published on
December 19, 2022

There are cases in which a patient may be suggested to have a lazy eye just based on their inability to read 20/20 on the eye chart during their exam. However, they do not exhibit any amblyogenic risk factors such as strabismus, wandering eyes, or unequal refractive errors between the two eyes. In some cases, a patient may exhibit milder symptoms of a binocular vision disorder such as convergence insufficiency. But in fact, the patient has strabismus and 

poor depth perception subsequent to that.

What are the different types of binocular vision disorders?

There are many binocular disorders which occur when both eyes are not working properly together. Some of the main ones include:

  • Amblyopia
  • Strabismus
  • Convergence insufficiency
  • Double vision

What is a lazy eye?

Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is a condition where the brain ignores the visual input from the weaker eye and chooses to only accept the visual information gathered by the stronger eye. This is caused by improper or uneven development of the visual system, whereas one of the eyes is performing better than the other eye, which in turn leads to the brain ignoring the weaker eye. . A lazy eye occurs in one eye, whereas the other eye is the dominant one that allows the person to see. However there are rare cases when both eyes can be amblyopic.

Treatment of lazy eye in adults

A misdiagnosis or a partial diagnosis can occur at times, but one of the other things that can happen is not receiving the appropriate treatment recommendation. A patient who has not been diagnosed with a lazy eye until they are 12 years old may be misinformed and told they cannot be treated because they are over the age of eight. Fortunately, a lazy eye can be effectively treated well into adulthood.

Plasticity is an incredible feature of the human brain that allows it to continually adapt and be trained to strengthen/perform new functions. Amblyopia can be treated in this manner since the brain and visual pathways can be trained to work together without suppressing the lazy eye. The concept of plasticity does not only apply to childhood, but also to adulthood, yielding results for both young and old patients.

Why is it important to visit a functional or developmental optometrist if you think you have a lazy eye? 

Most optometrists are focused on the visual performance of the eye but there is a specialty in optometry which focuses on more than just the eye’s impact on vision but also all elements that relate to visual function. These eye doctors are sometimes referred to as functional optometrists, developmental optometrists, neuro optometrists, vision therapy doctor, or behavioral optometrists. Often they will have advanced training such as being a fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (FCOVD) or being a fellow in Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (FNORA). Dr. Heather McBryar is FCOVD and a candidate for fellowship in the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association. Her focus on all aspects of visual performance and developmental vision enable her to help patients that have been misdiagnosed or have been told that nothing more can be done. 

Schedule a developmental eye exam at Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga

There are several types of binocular vision disorders that can be mistaken for amblyopia. An optometrist who is well trained in developmental or functional optometry can accurately diagnose a lazy eye or any other binocular disorder. It is strongly recommended that you schedule an appointment with a developmental optometrist and speak with them about what options there are if you believe there may be a misdiagnosis or told that there was nothing more that can be done to improve your vision. You can schedule a functional or developmental eye exam by calling at (423) 710 3965. Patients with lazy eye visit our clinic from all over Tennessee, and we are proud to be a leading provider of lazy eye treatment for children and adults from Hixson, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley.

If you or your child is exhibiting symptoms of a vision problem take our visual skills assessment https://amplifyeyecarechatt.com/about-us-practice-page/our-specialty/vision-therapy-specialty/vision-and-learning-quiz/


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
1 2 3 10


Carrots for eyes

Are Carrots Good for Your Eyes?

As an optometrist at Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga in Hixson, one of the most common questions Dr. Heather McBryar often encounters is: "Are carrots good for your eyes?" To put it simply, yes, carrots are indeed beneficial for your eyes. Carrots are known to improve eyesight, and this is largely due to the wealth of vitamins […]

Read More

Understanding Foggy vision

Is foggy vision troubling you? Let our experienced optometrist restore your sight – book an appointment today and see the difference! The term foggy vision often refers to a visual disturbance characterized by blurred, cloudy, or hazy vision, which can make seeing clearly challenging. As your local optometrist, we recognize the significance of maintaining optimal […]

Read More

Vision Therapy for Nystagmus: Improving Visual Function and Quality of Life

According to the National Eye Institute, nystagmus affects approximately 0.24% of the general population in the United States. This means a whopping 720,000 individuals in the US face the challenges of nystagmus. How does Nystagmus Impact Vision?  Nystagmus is a condition that affects the eyes, causing involuntary and rapid movements that can make it difficult to […]

Read More
see all blogs

Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare

Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga Logo

Working Hours

Monday - Tuesday
7:30AM - 5:15PM

Wednesday - Thursday
8:00AM - 5:15PM

Friday - Sunday

1043 Executive Drive Suite #101 Hixson, TN 37343
(423) 710 3966
Website Accessibility Policy
Safety protocols page
privacy policy
For Patients
Call Us
eyefile-adduserphone-handsetcalendar-fullarrow-uparrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram