Scientific Studies on Lazy Eye

Scientific research has provided many beneficial breakthroughs in the way we understand and treat a lazy eye.

Scientific Studies on Lazy Eye in Bellflower

Amplify Eyecare of Greater Long Beach

What is a lazy eye?

Approximately 2-3% of American children have amblyopia, which is the medical term for a lazy eye. It is the main cause of loss of vision in children in one eye. Amblyopia is a condition that occurs when the eyes are not working together properly as a team along with the brain. Each eye is receiving its own image which is not coordinated with the other so in order to cope, the brain shuts off communication with one eye, nicknamed the ‘lazy eye’ by suppressing it. Clear vision is achieved by the other, stronger eye as the lazy eye cannot achieve 20/20 vision, even with an optical correction.

 

Studies on Treatment for Lazy Eye

It is important to understand what the standard method of treating a lazy eye used to be. The approach was generally to promote as much patching as possible. Patching means to close off the strong eye in order to force the lazy eye to step up and communicate with the brain in order to achieve clear vision. In addition, it was believed that patching was no longer effective after the critical time period of development, which is somewhere between the ages of six and nine so there was a rush to begin patching as early as possible. In addition to patching, it’s important to also provide an accurate optical correction. Since there used to be value to patching as early as possible, the patient would receive the appropriate optical correction and begin patching as soon as possible, often simultaneously.

Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG)

A group of optometrists and ophthalmologists, known as the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG) are funded by the National Eye Institute to do clinical research on various pediatric eye conditions. Most of their research has focused on treatment for amblyopia in children and adolescents and comparing various methods to find the most effective strategy. These studies have come to be known as the Amblyopia Treatment Studies (ATS) which have greatly improved the way that eye care health providers are treating a lazy eye.

 

Amblyopia Treatment Studies (ATS)

The results of the ATS research have made a huge impact on how we treat amblyopia today. There are different elements to the overall treatment which will be discussed in further detail below.

  • Optical Correction: The accepted method of treatment is now to first provide the patient with an accurate optical correction. After 6-8 weeks of the patient wearing the new prescription glasses, a follow up appointment is scheduled. Some children will not need anymore treatment once they have been wearing the proper glasses. At this follow up appointment, the optometrist will decide if the child does need more treatment in addition to wearing the accurate prescription. If further treatment is required, the child is now at an advantage because he or she has clearer vision which allows for better compliance in the following steps.
  • Patching: For patients who require more treatment, the next step is occlusion therapy, or patching. A fascinating result of the study is the research that proved that two hours of patching daily in children with moderate amblyopia yielded the same results as patching for six hours a day. For children with severe amblyopia, six hours a day proved to be just as effective as a full day of patching. Also, there were children with severe amblyopia who had great results from just 2 hours of daily patching. In conclusion, we have clinical proof that less patching than what was practiced previously yields effective results and helps tremendously with compliance. It is important that no matter how long the patient is told to close the strong eye, one hour of patching should involve activities from a close up distance in order to stimulate the visual system.
Studies on Recurrence

Studies on Recurrence

Research has shown that approximately 20% of children who complete treatment for a lazy eye, will have the condition return. Therefore, it’s very important that even after treatment is completed, the patient is scheduled for follow up appointments to ensure proper monitoring.

In order to reduce the likelihood of recurring amblyopia, it is essential to provide the proper plan for ending treatment. Instead of abruptly ending the treatment, it is beneficial to progressively end by tapering down the treatment method.

Common Questions

Medicated eye drops which blurs vision when applied to the eye is used as an alternative to patching. The strong eye is blurred out using these eye drops, forcing the lazy eye to learn to work properly with the brain in order to provide clear vision. The drops are only obtained by prescription from a healthcare provider. It is important that all potential side effects are explained before using this type of eye drop. In addition to blurring vision, these eye drops can cause stinging and other such discomfort which makes compliance more challenging. The PEDIG research made a breakthrough in proving that for a moderate to severe case of lazy eye, using eye drops only on the weekends provides the same benefits as daily administration.
Yes, lazy eyes can be treated for adults as well, not only children. There used to be a widespread misconception that after a child passes a particular age of development, believed to be approximately between ages six and nine, treatment for a lazy eye would no longer be effective. Thanks to scientific research, most notably that of the works of Levi, Li and colleagues, we now know that a lazy eye can be treated even in adulthood.
Scientific Studies on Lazy Eye
Dr. Ikeda cartoon

Summary

If you have any questions regarding a lazy eye, please don’t hesitate to call  (562) 925-6591 to schedule a consultation at our office, Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach. Dr. Eric T. Ikeda and staff have a lot of experience diagnosing and treating a wide range of eye conditions and will be happy to discuss and answer any questions you have.

Related Articles

Testimonials


  • I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.


    Claire A.

  • Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.


    Jim K.

  • My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!


    Teresa S.

  • The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.


    Joe M.

  • I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.


    Kayla W.

Blog

Lighting-Assessment---Intensity-1

Lighting as Part of A Low Vision Evaluation

A low vision evaluation is in some ways similar to a regular eye exam, and in other ways entirely different. […]

Read More
josh-applegate-p_KJvKVsH14-unsplash

Can ADD/ADHD be a Vision Problem?

According to a study, approximately 20% of 4.5 million children currently identified as having ADHD may have been misdiagnosed. Furthermore […]

Read More
pexels-monstera-6186146

Are all magnifiers the same? The difference in optics between handheld magnifiers

Hand magnifiers are hand-held devices that can be placed over an object or text to enlarge or magnify what you […]

Read More
see all blogs

Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare

Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach Logo

Working Hours

Monday & Wednesday
9:00AM–6:00PM

Tuesday & Thursday
8:00AM–5:00PM

Saturday
By appointment only

Friday & Sunday
Closed

 

 

Location
16816 Clark Ave, Bellflower, CA 90706, United States
Fax
(562) 867-8719
Website Accessibility Policy
Safety protocols page
privacy policy
Cancellation Policy
For Patients
appointment
Call Us
Referrals
Assessments
For Patients
appointment
Call Us
Referrals
Assessments
eyefile-adduserphone-handsetcalendar-fullarrow-uparrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram