Childhood Lazy Eye (Amblyopia) Linked To Lower Self Perception, Reading Speed and Motor Skills

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"i have a lazy eye but it's a good thing" by jessica mullen is licensed under CC BY 2.0Eileen E. Birch, PhD
Director, Crystal Charity Ball Pediatric Vision Evaluation Center
Retina Foundation of the Southwest
Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology
UT Southwestern Medical Center

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: We previously reported that amblyopia, but not nonamblyopic strabismus or anisometropia, is associated with slower reading speed (Kelly et al  Journal of AAPOS 2015) and that this is related to abnormal eye movements and unstable fixation associated with amblyopia (Kelly et al 2017).  We have also shown that amblyopic children are slower at completing Scantron answer sheets (JAMA Ophthalmology 2018).  We thought that these difficulties experiences in school-age children with amblyopia might affect their self-perception.

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Action Video Games Improved Amblyopia In Two Weeks

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Krista Kelly, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Crystal Charity Ball Pediatric Vision Evaluation Center
Retina Foundation of the Southwest
Dallas, TX 75231

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Amblyopia is one of the most common causes of monocular impairment in children, affecting 1 or 2 children in every US classroom. Patching of the fellow eye has been used for decades to improve visual acuity in the amblyopic eye. But patching does not always restore normal vision and does not teach the two eyes to work together. A novel technique originally designed by Drs Robert Hess and Ben Thompson at McGill University that works to reduce interocular suppression by rebalancing the contrast between the eyes has shown promising results in amblyopic adults. Dr Eileen Birch at the Retina Foundation of the Southwest worked with Dr Hess to adapt this contrast re-balancing approach to an iPad game platform suitable for children. Her research showed that the games were successful in improving visual acuity in amblyopic children as well. However, these initial games were rudimentary and resulted in low compliance.

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Amblyopia Helped By Two Hours of Patching

Eric Crouch, MD, FAAO, FAAP, FACS Vice Chair, PEDIGAssociate Professor Department of Ophthalmology Eastern Virginia Medical School Assistant Professor Department of Pediatrics Eastern Virginia Medical School Chief of Ophthalmology Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters Norfolk, VirginiaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Eric Crouch, MD, FAAO, FAAP, FACS

Vice Chair, PEDIGAssociate Professor
Department of Ophthalmology
Eastern Virginia Medical School Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics Eastern Virginia Medical School
Chief of Ophthalmology, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters Norfolk, Virginia

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? 

Dr. Crouch: In this letter PEDIG is reporting on the improvement in vision during the run-in phase of a study in children 3 years of age to less than 8 years old.  During the run-in phase, the children were followed at 6 weeks intervals and served as the baseline for entering into a randomized trial for increasing the amount of patching. The patients were randomized to either 2 hours of prescribed patching or 6 hours of prescribed patching once they completed the run-in phase.

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings?

Dr. Crouch: For amblyopic children, even those who have moderate or severe amblyopia in the 20/100 – 20/400 range, clinicians can start treatment with patching two hours a day.

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