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"What is a lazy eye?"


Is that when someone can't keep their eye open or when it looks to the side? My daughter seems to be having trouble keeping one eye open.


The term "lazy eye" has been used by the general public to describe many different medical conditions. For example ambylopia is a medical term that refers to a disorder in the visual system that is characterized by indistinct vision in an eye that is otherwise physically normal, or a visual disturbance that is out of proportion to the physical deformity. This is a vague term, that encompasses many different diagnosis such as strabismus, which is perhaps the most common medical condition which the lay person refers to as "lazy eye".

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Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned with one another. So when the individual focuses on an object it appears that only one eye is actually looking at it. It doesn't sound like your daughter has strabismus from your description however. There are a number of other medical conditions that can lead to problems with eye lid opening, or weakness of the eyelids with time. Furthermore vision problems can sometimes manifest themselves in the pediatric population by them favoring one eye over the other (and closing one eye) because it helps with double vision. I am not saying that this is what your daughter has, however I would definitely say that her symptoms warrant a thorough work-up from a pediatric ophthalmologist. I would recommend starting there and see what they think. I hope this helps.

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