While there are no current guidelines to prevent amblyopia, or lazy eye, vision screening can help to detect the condition at an early age. Ophthalmologists at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone recommend that children aged three to five—or younger, depending on their family history—be examined for eye problems.
Often, pediatricians test your child’s vision as part of a well-child check-up. Sometimes they refer your child to an ophthalmologist for screening. In New York City, public schools offer vision screening to children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades one, three, and five.
If your child has not been screened and you notice symptoms of the condition, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Symptoms of lazy eye in a young child include bumping into objects, because depth perception is affected; a wandering eye; and crossed eyes.
Sometimes there are no symptoms of lazy eye. If you are concerned, or if lazy eye runs in your family, ask your doctor for a comprehensive visual exam or for a referral to an ophthalmologist.