Amblyopia, commonly referred to as lazy eye, is poor sight resulting from abnormal visual development. It affects approximately three percent of the population. While the treatment of amblyopia has been the focus of multi-centre randomized controlled treatment trials, the deficits in performance on common daily living tasks are still not fully determined. The Children's Vision research team at the School of Optometry and Vision Science and the Vision Improvement Domain of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), is exploring the functional impact of amblyopia to quantify the disability associated with the condition.

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Research leader
Research team
QUT External collaborators

Dr Ann Webber

Professor Glen Gole (Paediatric Ophthalmologist, Brisbane)

Organisational unit
Lead unit Faculty of Health Other units
Research areas


How amblyopia affects skills important for children was explored in a research study conducted by Dr Ann Webber for her PhD thesis, and supervised by Professors Joanne Wood, Brian Brown and Glen Gole. The project determined how amblyopia impacts on motor and psychosocial skills in children. The relationship between motor skills and educational performance was also explored

Current projects are investigating the correction of childhood hyperopia and anisometropia, given that childhood refractive error is a significant risk factor for the development of amblyopia. Other studies are looking at the measurement of reading eye movements and their relationship to educational outcomes.

Read the QUT news article Study looks at the perception of patching.

Publications and output

  1. Webber AL, Wood JM, Gole GA, Brown B. The effect of amblyopia on the Developmental Eye Movement test in children. Optometry and Vis Science 2009; 8(6): 760-766.
  2. Webber AL, Wood JM, Gole GA, Brown B. The effect of amblyopia on self-esteem in children. Optometry and Vision Science 2008; 85(11): 1074-1081.
  3. Webber AL, Wood JM, Gole GA, Brown B. The effect of amblyopia on fine motor skills in children. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 2008; 49(2): 594-603.
  4. Webber AL, Wood JM. Amblyopia: prevalence, natural history, functional effects and treatment. Clinical and Experimental Optometry 2005; 88(6): 365-375.