NOV 07, 2007
Glasses or contact lenses have long been the accepted treatment of bilateral refractive amblyopia. A new investigation into this standard therapy proves its effectiveness.
The prospective, multicenter, noncomparative study included 113 children between ages 3 and 9. After one year of treatment, 73 percent of children achieved a binocular visual acuity of 20/25 or better. Binocular visual acuity improved an average of 3.9 lines after one year of treatment, with spectacles as the sole treatment in all but 13 children.
Only 12 percent of cases required patching or atropine. Children who started with visual acuity of 20/100 or worse showed the greatest improvement, averaging 6.3 lines after one year.
Although there was no untreated control group, the observed improvement substantially exceeded any expected learning or age effect.
In addition to reaffirming this longstanding treatment, the study emphasizes the importance of vision screening in young children and referral for cycloplegic refraction for those who fail this screening.