Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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Eye Problem Definitions

Amblyopia, "Lazy eye"

This develops because the brain is getting one "good" image and one "bad" image from the eyes. The brain shuts off the bad eye and slows its development in relation to the good eye. This is the main problem that we are trying to prevent. The following conditions are considered "amblyogenic factors," meaning that they can lead to amblyopia. Ambloypia, if left untreated, can cause a permanent decrease in vision that cannot be corrected with glasses.


The eyes are not directed to an object simultaneously. In some cases the eyes deviate inward, and in others outward. Vertical deviations can also occur, but are quite rare.

Anisometropia (an-i’-so-me-tro’-pe-a)

This is a difference in the need for glasses between the two eyes. As a result, the brain receives a clear image from one eye and a blurred image from the other, so it shuts off the "bad" eye. Amblyopia then develops.

Hyperopia far-sightedness

Small levels of far-sightedness are normal for young children, but high levels can cause problems. Left untreated, hyperopia can contribute to crossing of the eyes or poor vision in each eye. This condition can be corrected with glasses.


Myopia is commonly known as near-sightedness. It can be treated with glasses, and typically is not amblyogenic as long as both eyes have similar degrees of myopia.


This disorder results from unequal focusing of light rays as they enter the eye, causing a blurring of objects. Typically, the eye with astigmatism is not perfectly round and is slightly oblong. Astigmatism is often treated with glasses in older children. Treatment may not be necessary for younger children. Astigmatism is not amblyogenic unless it is asymmetric or to a large degree.

Media opacity

This condition is caused by an object that prevents light from entering the back of the eye, such as a cataract.

Last Edited: July 1, 2016
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