Amblyopia: Lazy Eye Diagnosis
Your child might not be aware of having better vision in one eye than the other. And you may not realize it either unless your child has strabismus or other eye problem you can see.
Ophthalmologists diagnose amblyopia by checking to see if vision differs between the two eyes. To check a baby’s or young child’s vision, the ophthalmologist may cover one of the child’s eyes and watch how well they can follow a moving object. The doctor may also watch how the child reacts when one eye is covered. If one eye has amblyopia and the other is covered, the child may try to look above or below the patch, pull it off or cry.
The ophthalmologist will do a complete medical eye exam, looking for other eye problems that could be affecting vision.
Poor vision in one eye does not always mean a child has amblyopia. In some cases, wearing glasses to correct a refractive error in one eye can improve vision.
When should a child’s vision be tested?
All children should have their vision checked by their pediatrician, family physician or ophthalmologist at or before their 4th birthday. If there is a family history of misaligned eyes, childhood cataracts or serious eye disease, an ophthalmologist should check their eyes when they are an infant.
Most doctors test vision as part of a child’s medical exam. If they see any sign of eye problems, they may send a child to an ophthalmologist for further tests.