Early treatment of amblyopia or lazy eye is usually simple, employing eyeglasses, drops, Vision Therapy, and/or eye patching. While detection and correction before the age of two is considered to offer the best outcomes, 21st century scientific research has disproven the long held belief that children over a certain age (seven or whatever) can not be successfully treated. In fact, many scientific studies on neuroplasticity of the brain in adults are now showing that therapies can improve the vision in amblyopic or lazy eye conditions in older children AND adults. In addition, scientific research has proven that long hours of eye patching are not> to gain positive results.
Treatment of amblyopia after the age of 17 is not dependent upon age but requires more effort including vision therapy. Every amblyopic patient deserves an attempt at treatment.
In conclusion, improvements are possible at any age, but early detection and treatment offer the best outcome. If not detected and treated early in life, amblyopia can cause a permanent loss of vision with associated loss of stereopsis (two-eyed depth perception). Better vision screenings are needed for young children. The 20/20 eye chart screening is not adequate.