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How is amblyopia (lazy eye) treated?

Amblyopia can be considered a disorder of monocular as well as binocular vision. Monocular because the best -corrected visual acuity of the amblyopic eye is decreased, and binocular due to the fact, that also binocular vision and stereopsis are impacted, partly because of the decreased visual acuity of the amblyopic eye. The goal of amblyopia treatment should be  not only to improve the visual acuity of the amblyopic eye (monocular function) but also to restore the binocularity and stereopsis (binocular function).

Up to now the most common way to treat amblyopia has been to patch the good eye as to ‘force’ the lazy one to work. This method is very successful in increasing and maximizing the vision of the amblyopic eye. However, it has been a nuisance for patients, parents and eye health professionals to discover that despite their efforts there is often a regression of the vision or that they still don’t get to enjoy binocular, 3 dimensional vision (depth perception).

The effort to do patching is significant as the children go through stigma at school or low vision while they wear the patch at the beginning. No one can dispute that the patch is annoying and boring. The parents go through the moaning and low compliance of the children whose temper and tantrums usually grow together with their age. And still the results have not been 100% successful.

Scientists and researchers have been studying this for many years and have come up with what they feel is a conclusion which will lead to more consistent results which last long term and offer the patient three dimensional vision. The conclusion is that one should encourage the two eyes working together thus forming a strong binocular vision system which will ‘lock in’ the good visual result as well as offering vision which is functionally better. Offering the patient a treatment which may result in a good sense of depth and thus space means offering them the chance of better vision for school performance, for sports, for hobbies, for driving and for their profession. Ways to do that are:

  • Vision therapy, a specialized program of exercises is the best in offering this concept and is offered at our practice. It needs time and dedication however, as well as a healthy planet free of highly contagious viruses. Thus with the onset home quarantine the concept of home vision therapy is gaining ground. Applications on tablets, pcs and virtual reality units give us an alternative way of treating of amblyopia from the comfort of our own home. Both of the applications listed are available through our practice:
  • Vision therapy at home in the form of games & exercises in specialized apps on tablets or pcs. Amblyoplay (www.amblyoplay.com) are fun games that provide stimuli to the lazy eye as well as train the brain how to use both eyes together. We achieve this through interactive games and exercises that help rebuild neurological links between the eyes and the brain!
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  • Virtual reality vision therapy. Vivid vision (www.seevividly.com) offers a fantastic application of exercises and games for daily therapy at home with the capability of your optometrist monitoring progress and modifying the individual program for each patient and progress level.. The headset is bought and the app installed ready to exercise the binocular functions.

All of the above are available through us so please get in touch for more info.