Over the last few decades, the world has witnessed massive progress towards digitalization in literally every aspect of our lives. Medicine in general as well as ophthalmology are of course no exceptions. Progress in computer capabilities has also made it possible to introduce a plethora of vision training approaches that would have been impossible not that long ago. Nonetheless, many doctors still dismiss any sort of modern vision therapy approaches to their patients. We shall discuss why this is bound to change soon.
AAO on Vision Therapy
Let us start with the paper that was published last year in Ophthalmology – one of the leading scientific journals in the field of ophthalmology in the world. In the report that was written by the American Academy of Ophthalmology they thoroughly scrutinized about 50 studies that dealt with the benefits of vision training in amblyopia. Although they concluded that vision training in isolation is not yet superior to conventional treatment (including patching and/or optical treatment) and is therefore not recommended as a substitute for conventional therapies, the fact that they [the American Academy of Ophthalmology] felt worth writing about it speaks volumes by itself.
What is more, some of the more important studies published in the last few years about vision training were also published in respected medical journals, such as Ophthalmology, JAMA Ophthalmology, and the American Journal of Ophthalmology just to name a few. This clearly indicates that top-notch professionals from all over the globe have recognized the importance (and benefits) of vision training. Admittedly, the healthcare professionals still lack more standardized protocols for such training, but this is soon about to change, especially now when vision training is being put into the spotlight from institutions such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and randomized studies have been published in most respected journals in the field.
Bright future ahead
Soon more and more eye doctors will start to recognize the benefits of vision training and so recommend it to their patients more and more. Probably not as a substitute for patching, but definitely as an important supplementary treatment that will accelerate the recovery or even improve the final outcome. What is perhaps even more important is that more and more research groups will find interest in performing high quality randomized controlled studies. This will eventually help us to establish standardized protocols that will be of the most benefit for the patients. Finally, the developers such as ourselves will strive to make our solutions even more effective and user-friendly so that the compliance will become less and less of an issue and that the benefit of the therapy will be enhanced.