What is Lazy Eye?

Published on
May 6, 2022

Lazy eye or what's clinically referred to as amblyopia is a condition where the vision isn't correctable to 20/20 on the eye chart like it normally would be. It is often found in one or both eyes, but in rare cases it can be found in both eyes and neither eye can be corrected to 20/20.

What are the main causes of a lazy eye?

There are three main causes of a lazy eye.

  1. The most common cause is when an eye drifts inward or outward, this is called strabismic amblyopia. This results in the lazy eye, as the brain is unable to fully utilize both eyes at the same time.
  2. One of the most common causes of amblyopia is called refractive amblyopia which means that one eye has a substantially different visual ability than the other, for example when one eye has a very large amount of refractive error, but the other eye has little to none.
  3. Another cause of lazy eye is called deprivation amblyopia. This form of amblyopia can also result from congenital cataracts, bell's palsy, or other conditions that prevent light from reaching the retina.

What are the risk factors for a lazy eye in children?

Some children are more prone to develop a lazy eye. The risk factors include:

  • Family history
  • Premature birth or an infant who is born with a low weight
  • Developmental delay

How can a lazy eye be treated?

Patching used to be the standard treatment for lazy eyes. So if there was a situation in which the brain wasn't paying attention to the right eye, an eye doctor would patch the better seeing eye which would be the left eye and force the brain to use the weaker lazy eye. 

Today the gold standard approach to treating amblyopia is called monocular fixation in binocular field (MFBF). This is where the stronger eye is occluded (blocked) in combination with vision therapy that is done to train the brain to use both eyes together. During vision therapy eye doctor and therapist is essentially creating stepping stones from where the patient currently is only using one eye at a time to bridge to where the patient is now able to achieve binocular vision or the ability to use both eyes together as a team. Patching along with vision therapy training of effectively using both eyes together proves to be the most effective method of treating a lazy eye. Call our office at (423) 710 3965 to schedule a functional eye exam. 


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.
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