Treatment of Amblyopia

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ID-100184815Treatment of amblyopia (both strabismic amblyopia and anisometropic amblyopia) is mainly done by force use of the amblyopic eye and by correction of optical deficit by use (wearing) of specific glasses (prescribed spectacles). Forced use of the affected eye can be done by patching (keeping the eye covered, so the affected eye has to be used) of the normal eye or it can also be done by instilling atropine solution in the normal eye, which cause dilatation of the pupil and blurring of vision in the normal eye.

What are the drawbacks of treatment of amblyopia?

The main drawback with the use of atropine topical eye solution in the normal eye is the risk of side effects of atropine solution, such as formation of nodules on long term use, which can be counteracted by use of correctional ointment. The problem with eye patch or covering the normal eye for long time is associated with, what is called “reverse amblyopia” in the normal eye. Overenthusiastic use of eye patch for prolonged period should be avoided to prevent reverse amblyopia.

The treatment of “form deprivation amblyopia” is removing the cause (which is opacity of visual media in the affected eye) and patching (also known a penalizing the good eye) the good or normal eye to encourage the use of amblyopic eye.

The earlier the initiation of treatment for amblyopia (especially for form deprivation amblyopia), the better is the prognosis (faster and easier recovery as the damage may be less). The chance of normal or near normal vision can be achieved by instituting earlier and appropriate therapy in amblyopia.

Several studies have shown that for best results treatment for amblyopia should be started before age of 5 years. The more the delay in starting treatment the worse is the prognosis, although they may still improve.

Virtual reality computer games, where each eye receives different visual signals from virtual world and the player’s brain must combine in order to successfully play the game, can improve vision in the affected eye.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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