Amblyopia is a disorder that can be very effectively treated early in one’s life, within the so-called critical period for vision development. Historically, the critical period for vision development was regarded as up to around 8 years of age. For people older than that, it was generally believed that vision can no longer be developed, or any residual amblyopia improved. Research on animal models of amblyopia, however, has disproved this belief and the researchers, as well as physicians, have since introduced a wide range of behavioral interventions, including several vision training approaches, that can improve vision even in amblyopic adults.
Adults have just as much need for this type of vision care as children, and indeed sometimes adults can achieve very good results because they are more motivated and know WHY they have to do vision therapy exercises.
When people have trouble using both eyes together or can’t focus for great lengths of time, they do not simply grow out of these problems. Children with visual problems often become adults with visual problems.
Managing the expectations of adults
That said, the improvements in terms of visual acuity or binocular visual function that can be achieved with vision training in adults are usually modest, yet significant. It is of course unreasonable to expect that older people will benefit as much as, say, 5-year-olds, as the brain of the former is nonetheless not as plastic as that of the latter, even if certain plasticity is arguably retained. Perhaps vision training in adults can be more effective still for certain conditions other than amblyopia, such as after head trauma or vascular events. The truth is, though, that when it comes to brain and vision there are still many things to be discovered and many more studies are needed for us to be able to clearly say who will benefit from different vision training approaches and how.
Unfortunately, then, if you are an adult with amblyopia, we cannot tell you for sure whether you can expect improvements with vision training approaches such as AmblyoPlay. All we can say is that it is worth giving it a shot and hoping for the best.