10 doctors weighed in:

Can a "lazy eye" that has never been treated be fixed?

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Harvey Fishman
Ophthalmology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Probably no

Great question. Most believe that there will be no improvement with amblyopia treatment .
However some research in israel indicates that adult patching may have benefit. Controversial.

In brief: Probably no

Great question. Most believe that there will be no improvement with amblyopia treatment .
However some research in israel indicates that adult patching may have benefit. Controversial.
Dr. Harvey Fishman
Dr. Harvey Fishman
Thank
Dr. Ali Zaidi
Ophthalmology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Unfortunately, no

"lazy eye" or amblyopia results from a lack of proper communication between the eye and the brain.
It is usually caused by the brain receiving a clearer image from one eye compared to the other during childhood. The brain pays more attention to the clearer image and "ignores" the blurry one. Over time, this prevents healthy neuronal connections between the eye and brain and one eye becomes lazy.

In brief: Unfortunately, no

"lazy eye" or amblyopia results from a lack of proper communication between the eye and the brain.
It is usually caused by the brain receiving a clearer image from one eye compared to the other during childhood. The brain pays more attention to the clearer image and "ignores" the blurry one. Over time, this prevents healthy neuronal connections between the eye and brain and one eye becomes lazy.
Dr. Ali Zaidi
Dr. Ali Zaidi
Thank
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Lazy eye

The brain and eye "speak" to each other during the first 8 years of life.
If one eye is aimed incorrectly, or has a defect, or a terribly high refraction, the brain will learn to ignore it. This is called amblopia, and is permanent. The peripheral vision is usually good in these cases; the central vision is supressed and cannot recover in adulthood.

In brief: Lazy eye

The brain and eye "speak" to each other during the first 8 years of life.
If one eye is aimed incorrectly, or has a defect, or a terribly high refraction, the brain will learn to ignore it. This is called amblopia, and is permanent. The peripheral vision is usually good in these cases; the central vision is supressed and cannot recover in adulthood.
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Thank
Dr. Christopher Hood
Ophthalmology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Probably not

The brain has a "critical period" where it needs equal input from the two eyes to have them develop well.
If you have had amblyopia (ie lazy eye) since you were young, the brain is really the issue and not the eye. If you are an adult, then most likely the vision can not be improved. However, if the eye deviates that may be able to to be fixed with surgery.

In brief: Probably not

The brain has a "critical period" where it needs equal input from the two eyes to have them develop well.
If you have had amblyopia (ie lazy eye) since you were young, the brain is really the issue and not the eye. If you are an adult, then most likely the vision can not be improved. However, if the eye deviates that may be able to to be fixed with surgery.
Dr. Christopher Hood
Dr. Christopher Hood
Thank
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes and no

If you are refering to lining the eyes up so they point in the same direction, that might be possible with a skilled eye muscle surgery.
The other issue is will it work. If the brain decided to shut off the input from that eye(ambliopia), the ability to regain that lost input deminishes with time. A discussion with your eye dr can give you guidance.

In brief: Yes and no

If you are refering to lining the eyes up so they point in the same direction, that might be possible with a skilled eye muscle surgery.
The other issue is will it work. If the brain decided to shut off the input from that eye(ambliopia), the ability to regain that lost input deminishes with time. A discussion with your eye dr can give you guidance.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
Thank
Dr. Amy Wexler
Ophthalmology

In brief: Lazy eye treatment

If your eye wanders there is surgery that can be done even as an adult that is very successful in straightening your eyes.
If your vision is poor, there is often little that can be done as an adult to improve it. Children with poor vision respond very well to patching, but this is not successful once the visual system has matured.

In brief: Lazy eye treatment

If your eye wanders there is surgery that can be done even as an adult that is very successful in straightening your eyes.
If your vision is poor, there is often little that can be done as an adult to improve it. Children with poor vision respond very well to patching, but this is not successful once the visual system has matured.
Dr. Amy Wexler
Dr. Amy Wexler
Thank
Dr. Steven Stiles
Ophthalmology

In brief: Lazy Eye

Unfortunately the eye-brain pathway gets set about age 8.
So whatever vision you were capable of at age 8 is is good as it can be now. Patching or surgery or lasik will not help. Sorry.

In brief: Lazy Eye

Unfortunately the eye-brain pathway gets set about age 8.
So whatever vision you were capable of at age 8 is is good as it can be now. Patching or surgery or lasik will not help. Sorry.
Dr. Steven Stiles
Dr. Steven Stiles
Thank
Dr. Eileen Conti
Ophthalmology

In brief: Yes

Absolutely- sometimes eye muscle surgery can correct double vision and sometimes you just get a cosmetic result.

In brief: Yes

Absolutely- sometimes eye muscle surgery can correct double vision and sometimes you just get a cosmetic result.
Dr. Eileen Conti
Dr. Eileen Conti
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Eric Weisman
Board Certified, Neurology
32 years in practice
9M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors