Anyone who has worn an eye patch, or directed their child to do so, can attest to the challenges and discomfort this task presents. Fights and battles, struggles for proper fit and almost certain instances of “cheating” (looking over the patch) are all too common with this form of lazy eye management. While reasonably effective for increasing static visual clarity, countless parents continue to ask themselves – is there not something better than this? Well, for those within range of our network of clinics, there now most certainly is.
Year after year, we are seeing our industry transition toward more active and engaged treatment of amblyopia (“lazy eye”) than the 1000-year-old eye patching protocol (not a misprint, the first documentation of patching therapy is from 900 A.D.). Eye patching has its merits and for a very long time it was the only treatment option available. The challenge with eye patching as a form of treatment of lazy eye however is that you are exposing the weaker eye to complete dominance in short spurts, followed by continued dominance of the stronger eye the remainder of the day. There exists very little opportunity for the two eyes to perform blended tasks while working together – resulting in splinter gains that often require constant training and attention for years. While a reasonably cost-effective approach, patching is far from efficient and does very little to address dynamic visual skill, or cortical suppression – which are the root causes for loss of clarity in the weaker eye.
A transition, or complement to this form of treatment is long overdue.
While binocular and virtual training for lazy eye have been common amongst Vision Therapy providers for decades, the last five years have seen an explosion of new technologies embracing the new treatment paradigm. With an estimated 3-4% of the population possessing amblyopia, these treatment options are now unlocking gains and exciting potential for children and adults alike.
Vivid Vision represents the newest addition to our arsenal of cutting edge amblyopia treatment. Using top of the line VR technology, this program truly has to be experienced to be believed. Week in and week out, children (and adults!) are excited to come and work on training improved visual skills in a way that previous generations couldn’t have even imagined.
The future of amblyopia treatment is here. If you or a loved one struggles with “lazy-eye,” we encourage you to reach out to our team. Regardless of age, there are now more exciting and engaging tools than ever to right this visual imbalance.
Until next month,
Paul Rollett, OD, FCOVD