Dr. Heather McBryar cartoon

Take our Vision Quiz to learn whether you should explore Vision Therapy

Amplify Eyecare Chattanooga

What is Amblyopia?

Amblyopia is a condition commonly referred to as a “lazy eye”. It occurs when there is a lack of coordination between both eyes. Each eye is receiving its own picture that does not align with the other so in order to compensate, the brain ignores or suppresses the image from one of the eyes. This causes a phenomenon where only one eye can reach 20/20 vision, leaving the other suppressed eye with less clear vision which results in amblyopia.
Amblyopia is quite noticeable when it is caused by one eye wandering in and out, however there are other causes that are more challenging for a parent to detect. If you think your child might have a lazy eye, please Book an Appointment and Dr. McBryar who will be happy to check if your child has amblyopia and through vision therapy, both eyes can start working together again in an optimal manner.


There are various causes of amblyopia, such as:
  • One eye wanders in and out - this is the most common type of amblyopia and is the most noticeable
  • High power prescription in both eyes
  • One eye has a higher power prescription than the other


The good news is that vision therapy can help tremendously in cases of amblyopia. There are two main goals when trying to work with a patient with amblyopia:

  1. The first step is to make sure that the patient has the most appropriate prescription for the required optical correction. This avoids any refractive error and ensures the proper alignment.
  2. Various vision therapy methods are employed to train the eyes to work together properly, allowing the brain to be able to interpret the images from both eyes and form one clear image instead of suppressing one eye.

In the past it was thought that the best way to treat amblyopia is by using patching, which means closing the stronger eye in order to force the brain to learn how to properly use the weaker eye. The hope is that once the patch is removed, the brain will know how to use both eyes together properly. We still use patching but we assist this method by adding some stepping stones which help transition from using vision with one eye, known as monocular vision, to gradually using binocular vision, when the patch is removed and both eyes are working together. It’s been verified that this coupled with patching is much more effective.

Common Questions

Neuroplasticity is the phenomenon that the brain can adapt to new changes and can be trained to accomplish new tasks. This bears significance to learning a new skill, memory, healthy development and brain damage recovery. This concept applies to amblyopia and to vision therapy in general, as the purpose is to train the brain to learn how to interpret the signals from our eyes in the most effective way possible, enabling both eyes to work together as efficiently as can be without the brain reacting by filtering out the signals from one eye.
It used to be thought that we could only train the brain using the concept of neuroplasticity only up until age eight. We now know that neuroplasticity applies well into adulthood which enables us to successfully achieve goals through vision therapy in older children, teenagers and even in adults. It is true that the effectiveness is often lower in adults than it is in children, however neuroplasticity still allows us to achieve great improvement in the overall function of adults which can greatly improve their lifestyle. For example, sometimes with adults the goal is not to reach 20/20 vision, but rather to strengthen peripheral perception so that when driving, the adult can be more aware of the surroundings, more comfortable with the cars around you, allowing for safe driving. The goal of vision therapy for adults could have more of a focus on day to day functionality as opposed to visual acuity on the eye chart.
Dr. McBryar cartoon


Amblyopia is a condition where both eyes are not working together as strongly as possible, causing the brain to ignore the image being received from the weaker eye. Thankfully, there are great methods using vision therapy and eye patching to train the brain to work with both eyes together to form one clear image and optimizing the visual signals from both eyes. Patients with functional vision issues visit our clinic from all over Tennessee, and we are proud to be a leading provider of functional vision services for patients from Hixson, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley.


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



Discover effective treatment options for diabetic retinopathy; consult our eye care professionals to protect your vision and overall well-being

Treating diabetic retinopathy Treating diabetic retinopathy is a critical aspect of preserving vision and maintaining the overall quality of life […]

Read More
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 […]

Read More

Understanding Foggy vision

Is foggy vision troubling you? Let our experienced optometrist restore your sight – book an appointment today and see the […]

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