Amblyopia Vs Strabismus - Get to know the real differences

Case A: A 5-year-old boy was referred to an ophthalmologist for suspected decreased vision in his left eye discovered during a screening exam. However, his mother had not noticed any issues with his vision. He had normal growth and development. But he was diagnosed with Amblyopia.

Case B: Jenny, a 29-year-old female, struggles a lot in her day-to-day life due to her cross eye problem. She cannot drive at night, watch TV or read books as she likes. Even if she tries, she encounters severe headaches and nausea. Hannah has lost her self-confidence and has even stopped making eye contact while interacting. She has been diagnosed with Strabismus.

It can be difficult to differentiate between Strabismus and Amblyopia because the two vision problems also share some similarities. Therefore, we created a side-by-side comparison of both of these eye conditions for a deeper insight of their characteristics.


Amblyopia Vs Strabismus – The Differences




Layman’s term

Lazy Eye

Crossed Eyes


Amblyopia is an eye condition that results in poor binocular vision. It is a neurological dysfunction that happens when the brain and ocular nerves and muscles don’t coordinate or work together. The brain in such a condition cannot recognize the signals from one eye, making that eye lazy and weak.

Strabismus is generally characterized by a lack of alignment in both eyes, which causes them to turn up, or occasionally up and sideways.


In most cases, it begins in childhood and progresses to the point where the eye cannot function properly without the use of prescription lenses.



Only one eye

Both eyes


Most common symptoms of Amblyopia are as follows:

  • Poor depth perception
  • Head tilting
  • Eyes that appear to be unaligned
  • An eye that wanders
  • Also, if your child fusses or struggles to see when one of his eyes is covered, this could indicate Amblyopia.

Following are the symptoms of Strabismus:

  • Poor depth perception (similar to amblyopia)
  • double vision
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches, and “jittery” vision
  • Squinting and a lack of alignment between the eyes


Muscle Imbalance (strabismus amblyopia) – An imbalance in the muscles positioning the eyes is a common cause of lazy eyes. This imbalance can make the eyes cross in or out of alignment, making it difficult for them to work together.

Difference in vision sharpness (refractive amblyopia) – Lazy eye is caused by a significant difference in prescriptions in each eye, which can be caused by farsightedness, nearsightedness, or an uneven surface curve of the eye (astigmatism). Amblyopia or Lazy eye is caused by a combination of strabismus and refractive issues in some children.

Deprivation – A problem in one eye, such as a cloudy area in the lens (cataract), can prevent that eye from seeing clearly.

Causes of Strabismus could be traumatic or genetic. Other causes can be as below:

  • Bad vision in one eye
  • Refractive errors that could not be corrected by prescription lenses
  • Brain tumors and Strokes
  • Down syndrome and cerebral palsy
  • Head injuries

Risk Factors

Amblyopia can develop due to risk factors like Strabismus or Refractive errors.

Here, the risk factors could be:

  • Family history
  • Premature birth
  • Muscular or Neurological abnormalities
  • Vision disorders like Cataracts, Ptosis or Corneal Scars

Noteworthy Fact – Strabismus

If your child is too young to express his vision problems, it may be difficult to diagnose a condition like Strabismus, so seek professional help if you have even the slightest concern that your child may have.

Noteworthy Fact – Amblyopia

Amblyopia can be difficult to detect until it is severe. However, an inward or outward wandering eye is one of the early warning signs.


The conventional treatment methods like Eye Patching, glasses or surgery may sound familiar and safe, but they aren’t long-term solutions at all.

Vision therapy software is a type of digital program scientifically designed to improve eye coordination. These games stimulate both eyes separately to improve their functionality, which can help reduce the majority of squint eye and lazy eye symptoms.

For example, Bynocs AmblyGo is a wonderful alternative to overcome Amblyopia. It is a revolutionary technology wherein the patient needs to take up 30 minutes of sessions and play games on the exclusively designed gaming interface wearing special eyewear.

These games train the brain to look at images with the lazy eye and focus on improving the binocular vision.

AmblyGo is an advanced as well as an easy technology to use which needs minimum equipment. Once set, the sessions can be later performed at home comfortably. Talking about results, our patients have observed a 90% improvement in their vision after their sessions with AmblyGo software.

For further information on this unique way of treatment, contact us.