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What Are the Symptoms of Lazy Eye?

Identifying a child's lazy eye by age six will allow a greater chance of correcting it.
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  • Written By: Nya Bruce
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Eyes that do not properly line up, head tilting, squinting, and loss of depth perception, are common symptoms of the eye disorder called amblyopia, which is popularly known as lazy eye. Recognizing these symptoms can lead to a definite diagnosis of the condition, followed by proper medical treatment. It is important to identify lazy eye symptoms before the age of six. If left untreated past the age of seven, the condition most often becomes permanent. Lazy eye can affect up to five percent of all children.

One of the most obvious potential symptoms of lazy eye is when the two eyes do not properly align. When looking straight ahead, one of the eyes may turn inward towards the nose. This is the eye that has the diminished vision. The underlying cause of this misalignment is often a result of an eye condition in which one or both eyes deviate, called strabismus.

Another of the symptoms of lazy eye is when the person unconsciously tilts his head in favor of one eye or the other in an attempt to use his eyes together. This symptom is not always present but it frequently accompanies misalignment of the eyes. Parents may notice that their child tilts his head when attempting to focus. If this occurs frequently then the child should be taken to an ophthalmologist to have his eyes examined. This is particularly important if he is too young to explain to anyone that he is having difficulties with his eyesight.

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Squinting is another of the often subconscious symptoms of lazy eye. If a person has this condition, he may frequently squint when attempting to view or focus on various objects. The squinting of one eye may also occur when he is out in bright sunlight. As soon as parents become aware of this, they should treat it as a potential problem and take their child to have his eyes checked. During the exam, parents should point this symptom out to the eye care professional.

Problems with depth perception may occur because of the drastic difference in alignment between the two eyes. This can make it difficult to accurately judge the distance between objects. As one of the symptoms of lazy eye this can create many problems in how that person functions. He may experience difficulty when walking and may frequently bump into objects. Watching three-dimensional films or cartoons may not be possible when there is a loss of depth perception.

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