What are the Different Treatments for Amblyopia in Adults?

K. Gierok

Corrective eyewear is often prescribed for amblyopia in adults. Other common forms of treatment include surgery and the use of an eye patch. In some cases, certain prescription medications may be given for the treatment of amblyopia in adults.


Amblyopia, which is sometimes referred to as "lazy eye," occurs when one of the eyes is significantly weaker than the other. As this eye does less and less work, its vision decreases substantially. Corrective eyewear is one of the most common forms of treatment of amblyopia in adults, especially when the condition is related to minor vision disorders, such as near or farsightedness, or astigmatism. Patients who receive this form of treatment are usually required to wear the corrective eyewear for the remainder of their lives. In most cases, however, regular physician visits are required to evaluate the effectiveness of the current prescription, and changes in corrective eyewear prescription may be required on a semi-regular basis in order to achieve the best results.

Surgery is also an effective way to treat amblyopia in adults, and is usually recommended when patients have crossed eyes or double vision. The surgeries used to treat these conditions are aimed at increasing the strength of the muscles of the eye. In addition, the eye affected with amblyopia will ideally develop greater mobility after surgery. Patients who suffer from amblyopia are typically required to undergo strict testing in order to make sure they are healthy enough for this type of surgery.

In some cases, an eye patch may be recommended for adults suffering from amblyopia. Typically, the eye patch is placed over the eye unaffected with amblyopia. The weak eye is then exposed and is required to transmit information to the brain regarding the surrounding environment. This form of treatment results in increased muscular strength of the affected eye, as well as an increase in the number of neurons related to information transportation. The eye patch is typically worn for at least 20 minutes at a time, though time increases may be required as the eye becomes stronger.

Some medications may also be recommended in the treatment of amblyopia in adults. The most common of these medications is known as atropine. Though atropine is most often prescribed in droplet form, some oral prescriptions may be available. These are most often prescribed for those who have a very difficult time administering eye drops. Individuals who use oral atropine must do so under the care of a physician, in order to avoid serious side effects associated with its use.

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