Amblyopia, Pediatric

Reviewed 06/2017



Amblyopia is a decrease in best corrected visual acuity in an otherwise anatomically normal eye. It is generally classified by cause, with 3 primary types: 
  • Refractive amblyopia: resu...


Signs & Symptoms

Poor vision 


  • Age of onset of vision loss

  • Eye trauma, injury, or surgery

  • Refractive error or glasses

  • Ptosis or ocular occlusion (because amblyopia related to ptosis is ...


General Measures

  • Refractive correction, when needed, is critical and can improve amblyopia before additional treatment.

  • Unilateral amblyopia

    • Treat underlying cause of vision loss (strabismus, a...

Ongoing Care

Follow-up Recommendations

  • In general, the younger the patient, the more intensive the patching therapy, and the milder the amblyopia, the more frequent vision testing is necessary to ensur...

Additional Reading

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology. Preferred Practice Pattern: Amblyopia. San Francisco, CA: American Academy of Ophthalmology; 2012.

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology. Preferred P...



  • 368 Amblyopia, unspecified

  • 368.03 Refractive amblyopia

  • 368.01 Strabismic amblyopia

  • 368.02 Deprivation amblyopia


  • H53.009 Unspecified amblyopia, unspecified eye

  • H53.029 Refractive amblyopia, ...


  • Q: My child refuses to wear a patch. Are there alternatives to patching?

  • A: Yes. Optical penalization with glasses, atropine cycloplegic penalization, and even contact lens occlusion can be effecti...

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