Can lazy eye be treated for adults?

Published on
October 4, 2022

Amblyopia is very common in adults, with a US prevalence ranging between 1% and 4%.

Lazy eye or amblyopia can be treated for patients of all ages, including adults, however unlike with children, adult lazy eye is a much more complex condition that requires a thorough evaluation before determining if treatment is appropriate.

What is a lazy eye?

Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is a condition where the vision cannot be corrected to 20/20 on the eye chart. Unlike many eye conditions, amblyopia is a problem with how the brain perceives and interprets the information coming from the amblyopic eye. Most often, it affects one eye, but in rare cases, both eyes can be affected.

What are the most common symptoms of lazy eye?

The symptoms of amblyopia are not always obvious. The condition often goes undetected until a functional vision exam is performed on the patient. 

Patients with amblyopia may:

  • Frequently bump into things on one side.
  • Experience a significant difference in nearsightedness or farsightedness between your eyes.
  • Prefer one side of the body over the other.
  • Have crossed eyes.
  • Have a droopy eyelid.
  • Squint a lot or close one eye.
  • Frequently tilt their head to one side.

Is it difficult to treat lazy eye in adults?

The treatment of amblyopia in adults definitely poses some complex challenges. First, it is important to determine the severity of the amblyopia through a thorough evaluation in order to determine the cause of the amblyopia and the prognosis for treatment for adults. When treating adults suffering from amblyopia, a functional optometrist must also take the patient's functional demands into consideration. It depends on what findings come back from the comprehensive examination or functional examination as to whether they need to consider all the other options, including surgery, in coordination with the ophthalmologist.

Research suggests that vision therapy, eye surgery, and visual perceptual training can all improve acuity, depth perception, and vergence. However for adults with amblyopia it is critical to assess the full picture to understand what treatment modality will provide the best results. 

What role does brain plasticity play in treating amblyopia?

The brain has the amazing quality of plasticity, which means it can adapt and be trained to become stronger/perform new functions indefinitely. It is particularly relevant to the treatment of amblyopia, in which the brain and the visual pathways can be trained to work together as a team without suppressing the lazy eye. The principle of plasticity does not only apply in childhood, but also in adulthood, yielding good results for adults. But just because an adult can also improve visual function through neuro plasticity does not mean that therapy is the right fit for every adult amblyopic patient. Without a more careful approach to treating adults with lazy eye, therapy can sometimes lead to other symptoms. At our Los Angeles functional vision center, we spend time with each adult amblyopic patient to fully assess their visual function in order to better guide our patients on the appropriate and most effective treatment option. 

Schedule an appointment for adult lazy eye in Los Angeles

If you are an adult suffering from lazy eye and are interested in learning about the best treatment options schedule a functional vision exam with our world renowned functional optometrists. Lazy eye can often be treated at any age since our brains are capable of adapting and performing new functions. At Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach, we have treated many adults suffering from lazy eye, enabling them to function comfortably in their daily lives. You can schedule a consultation by calling (562) 925-6591 or filling out our contact form Book an Appointment .


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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