• AAPOS and AAO Hoskins Center for Quality Eye Care
    Pediatric Ophth/Strabismus
    Compendium Type: III

    Policy

    Amblyopia is a medical condition that requires medical treatment. Amblyopia (ICD-10 codes; H53.001, H53.002, H53.003, H53.011, H53.012, H53.013, H53.021, H53.022, H53.023, H53.031, H53.032, H53.033, H53.041, H53.042 and H53.043) is typically a preventable and treatable form of vision loss caused by developmental abnormalities of the brain’s vision centers. Unless amblyopia is treated promptly during childhood, permanent structural changes occur in the brain of the amblyopic child, resulting in decreased visual function.

    Current methods of preschool vision screening can identify risk factors (primarily high levels of refractive error and anisometropia) that, if untreated, increase the likelihood of amblyopia developing. Therefore, these amblyopia risk factors should also be considered medical conditions.

    Optical correction such as eyeglasses or contact lenses may be medically indicated as a part of amblyopia treatment in addition to other modalities, such as patching and/or pharmacologic treatment.

    Unless amblyopia is treated during childhood, recovery of vision is rarely achieved.

    Approvals

    American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
    Board of Directors, March 2002
    American Academy of Ophthalmology
    Board of Trustees, April 2002

    Revised and Approved by:
    American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
    Board of Directors, November 2006
    American Academy of Ophthalmology
    Board of Trustees, December 2006
    American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, 2011
    American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2013 
    American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
    Board of Directors, April 2017
    American Academy of Ophthalmology
    Board of Trustees, April 2017

    ©2017 American Academy of Ophthalmology®
    P.O. Box 7424 / San Francisco, CA 94120-7424 / 415.561.8500

    American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
    P.O. Box 193832 / San Francisco, CA 94119-3832 / 415.561.8505