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Treatment options available for Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)

Early treatment of lazy eye or amblyopia before the age of two is considered to offer the best outcomes. Treatment of amblyopia after the age of 17 is not dependent upon age but requires more effort including vision therapy.
Most of the treatments described below are meant to treat the amblyopia itself. Once the weaker eye’s visual data is accurate, rehabilitation of the relationship between the brain and the eye can begin.
– Patches : It means covering one eye for a period of few weeks to as long as a year. The better-seeing eye is patched, forcing the “lazy” one to work, thereby strengthening its vision. Most often, patients are required to wear the patch for six hours a day. Some of the drawbacks of patching are the child cannot see well and is often frustrated and uncooperative if the good eye is covered. Often the patch has to be taped over the child’s eye to prevent him from removing it.
– Atropine eye drops : It blurs the vision of strong eye. Atropine dilates the pupil, resulting in blurring when looking at things close up – this makes the lazy eye work more. It can have rare side effects such as irritation in the eye, reddening of the skin and headaches.
– Vision therapy : The vision therapy is a combination of patching or eye drops, eye exercises, computer software to augment the exercises, and prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Vision therapy is basically physical therapy for the eye. It is thus a form of neurological training and rehabilitation.
– Lazy Eye Surgery : It is most successful in cases where the child’s amblyopia is caused by constant unilateral strabismus in a single eye. The surgery is performed to turn the eye in the proper direction, both for vision and cosmetic purposes.

In conclusion, improvements are possible at any age, but early detection and treatment offer the best outcome.

1 comment to Treatment options available for Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)

  • There is another treatment option for amblyopia after age 17. According to the website

    “…it now appears that older children and even adults with long-stranding lazy eye can benefit from amblyopia treatment using computer programs that stimulate neural changes leading to improvements in visual acuity and contrast sensitivity.

    One such program — called RevitalVision — has produced improved vision in older children with lazy eye and adults with long-standing amblyopia. The treatment generally consists of 40 training sessions of 40 minutes each, conducted over a period of several weeks.

    In one clinical study of 44 amblyopic children and adults ranging in age from 9 to 54 years, 70.5 percent of the participants had a visual acuity improvement of 2 or more lines on a standardized eye chart after a full regimen of RevitalVision training sessions.

    Currently, RevitalVision is the only FDA-approved computerized treatment for amblyopia. The program is approved for individuals age 9 and older with best corrected vision of 20/100 or better and little or no strabismus.”

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