Speaking of amblyopia…

A couple things turned up today that I wanted to mention briefly:

  • Using Tetris to treat amblyopia – This study has gotten quite a bit of press recently, my favorite write-up comes from Dr. Nate at Bright Eyes News.  His explanation of amblyopis is excellent.  A couple of quick thoughts on the study: 1) it was looking specifically at adults with amblyopia, and contrary to what was previously believed, many of the adults were able to improve their vision with treatment.  The authors do not say whether this would be applicable to children. 2) As Dr. Nate points out, the Tetris part is not the most interesting part, what is interesting about the research was that it was looking at how encouraging the eyes to work together was very helpful in the treatment of amblyopia.  3) This was a small study (18 adults), hopefully it will lead to further study.
  • A 5-Year old has YouTube tutorials for decorating patches – Addie is 5 and patches for amblyopia.  She’s started decorating her patches with stickers, and has short YouTube videos with ideas for eye patch decoration.  If your child is feeling very alone about wearing an eye patch, they might enjoy watching some of her videos.  In this one, she also talks about what she would like other people to say if they see a child wearing an eye patch:

“It would be nice to say ‘Cool! Where did you get that?  I want one!’ And it’s not nice to say, ‘why do you have that thing on your eye?'”

Addie, I completely agree.

3 responses to “Speaking of amblyopia…

  1. Although this research mainly applies to adults, it does not mean that it isn’t true for children. This MainosMemos blog post also discusses an evidence based approach to the treatment of amblyopia….

    Dichoptic training enables the adult amblyopic brain to learn

    Study summary:

    ….Adults with amblyopia, a common visual cortex disorder caused primarily by binocular disruption during an early critical period, do not respond to conventional therapy involving occlusion of one eye. But it is now clear that the adult human visual cortex has a significant degree of plasticity, …. One possibility is an inhibitory signal from the contralateral eye that suppresses cortical inputs from the amblyopic eye. …. Here we provide direct evidence that alleviating suppression of the amblyopic eye through dichoptic stimulus presentation induces greater levels of plasticity than forced use of the amblyopic eye alone. This indicates that suppression is a key gating mechanism that prevents the amblyopic brain from learning to see…..

    Click here (http://www.mainosmemos.com/2013/04/dichoptic-training-enables-adult.html) for a discussion of amblyopia and how to treat this binocular vision dysfunction.


  2. Addie is adorable! What a great role model for little girls with eye patches. I think she and Ruby would be great friends! Plus she is just too stinking cute with her glasses, bow, and her sassy little dance in the chair while she decorates eye patches!


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