Amblyopia refers to poor vision in one or both eyes due to underdeveloped neural connections between the eyeball and the visual areas of the brain. Also known as lazy eye, in the US amblyopia is thought to have a prevalence of just under 2%. No statistically significant differences have been found between amblyopia in females versus males, or across different ethnicities.
While 2% doesn’t quite count as a wildfire epidemic, if left untreated amblyopia in children can have considerable consequences – difficulties with learning at school, limitations with job options as an adult, and even legal blindness. It also means the person no longer has a so-called spare tire if injury or disease befalls the remaining good eye.