MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Gail Maconachie PhD and
Professor Irene Gottlob
Professor of Ophthalmology
Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour
The University of Leicester Ulverscroft Eye Unit
Leicester Royal Infirmary
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Lazy eye (Amblyopia) affects 3-5% of the population. Treatment usually involves wearing glasses alone for around 18 weeks followed by occlusion of the good eye, usually a patch. Recent studies have shown, using monitors, that children often struggle with patching and patch only about half of what is prescribed. To date, no study has observed how well children with lazy eyes comply with glasses wearing. Glasses wearing is becoming increasingly important in lazy eye treatment as it has been shown to improve vision without other treatments. Therefore observing compliance may help to understand why some children do better with glasses treatment than others.
We found in our subjects that adherence to glasses wearing, in children aged 3 to 11 years who are undergoing treatment for a lazy eye, very variable and often poor. We also found that during treatment when only glasses wearing were given, adherence to glasses wearing, along with age and cause of the lazy eye, significantly predicted visual outcomes.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Adherence to glasses wearing, in addition to patching therapy, is still a problem particularly for some children undergoing lazy eye treatment. Clinicians should be aware that poor glasses wearing does effect vision. Therefore clinicians should find ways to encourage children not only to be compliant to patching but also glasses wearing.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Further research could investigate reasons for why some children find it difficult to wear glasses during lazy eye treatment. Additional research could also find ways of improving glasses wearing either through motivation and feedback on levels of compliance or educating parents and children on what lazy eye treatment is and why it is important, similar to those recommended for patching therapy.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Poor glasses wearing is not limited to children with lazy eyes and has been reported to be a problem worldwide, particularly within developing countries. At present the World Health Organisation has made the issue of prescribing glasses a top priority as part of their 2020 vision. Therefore our study highlights the difficulty of getting children to wear their glasses still remains.
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