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Children With Lazy Eye – New Treatment Shows Promise

Vision Health Institute in Orlando is committed to treating children with lazy eye. Your child’s vision is very important and the sooner you can treat Amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” the better. Two to three children out of every 100 show signs of having a lazy eye in the US. It is the most common cause of visual impairment in childhood.

Treatment may include consistent use of glasses and/or contact lenses. Another common way to treat children with lazy eye is to have them wear a patch over their stronger eye. The patch must be worn for several weeks or months. It helps the part of your child’s brain that processes vision to develop more effectively and therefore helps stabilize your child’s eyesight. Another treatment includes the use of a drug which blurs vision in the stronger eye to strengthen the weaker eye. If these treatments do not sound fun to you, neither will they sound fun for your child!

New Treatment for Lazy Eye

How many children do you know want to wear an eye patch for several weeks? Not many! That is why our doctors at VHI are excited to follow a study that is treating children with amblyopia by… here it is… watching movies! Yes. There is a new study that uses a simple treatment option – watching dichoptic movies – which has led to significant improvement in vision for children with lazy eye.

In a new report published in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS), researchers describe how the use of dichoptic therapy, combined with popular children’s movies, has produced improved visual acuity in young children.

Dichoptic therapy involves presenting different images to each eye and is usually combined with perceptual games or learning tasks. These games can be boring to some children. For other children, they can be too complicated, and parents along with their child tire of the home-based treatment and quit. Watching popular animated movies is much more fun!

Children with Lazy Eye

A child with amblyopia watches one of the dichoptic movies on a passive 3D display while wearing 3D cinema glasses.

Research has shown that after just 9 hours of watching dichoptic movies (six sessions over a two-week period) children showed a significant improvement in visual activity. Between one to four lines of improvement were noted versus only one line of improvement in children wearing a patch for 120 hours (who had already been treated with glasses for 12-16 weeks). This is great news!

VHI will continue to follow this study. We see great potential in passive viewing of dichoptic feature films and feel this new treatment for children with lazy eye could be extremely useful as a way to treat amblyopia, or at the very least, a supplemental or maintenance treatment plan.

If your child shows signs of “lazy eye,” do not delay! The sooner we start on a treatment plan, the better your child’s vision will be. If left untreated in early childhood, amblyopia normally persists into adulthood. Call us to discuss your child’s treatment options.

We care for your child’s vision – from infancy to adulthood. Please read more about vision care for children on our Pediatric Vision Care page. To set up an exam, call us at 407-893-6222 or click here to schedule an appointment.

IMAGE CREDIT: Retina Foundation of the Southwest