Anything that blurs a child's vision or causes the eyes to cross or turn out may cause lazy eye. There are three common causes of lazy eye:

  • Strabismic. The most common cause of lazy eye is strabismus — an imbalance in the muscles responsible for positioning of the eyes. This imbalance can cause the eyes to cross in or turn out. The muscle imbalance prevents the eyes from tracking together in a coordinated way.
  • Deprivation. Deprivation lazy eye occurs if there is a problem with one eye, such as a cloudy area in the lens (cataract). This "deprives" the child of clear vision in the eye.
  • Refractive. This type of lazy eye is the result of a significant difference between the vision in each eye, due to nearsightedness, farsightedness or an imperfection on the surface of the eye (astigmatism). These are the types of vision problems typically corrected by glasses or contact lenses.

Occasionally, a wandering eye is the first sign of an eye tumor.

July 03, 2013