Whilst patching arguably remains the most effective way of amblyopia treatment in young kids there are certain advantages of vision therapy that should not be overlooked. As we have thoroughly discussed in many of our blogs to date, vision therapy is an extensively evolving field that comprises many distinct treatment approaches. It was long believed that vision therapy is only effective both at the young age, as well as only for the smallest of problems. However, the growing body of scientific work and research is increasingly in support of vision training and therapy as a viable alternative.
Vision training leg over traditional treatment
Vision training addresses certain drawbacks of the conventional amblyopia treatment. The conventional treatment is oftentimes boring for the young patients, which much too often leads to compliance issues that consequently reduce the effect of treatment. Vision therapy on the other hand can and should overcome this very issue by implementing exercises that are interesting enough so that kids do not get tired of them during the course of treatment. Another aspect to behold is the effectiveness of conventional treatment in older kids and in adults.
Patching and vision therapy
Studies generally agree that patching is ineffective in children beyond the critical period of development (8-10 years) whilst properly chosen vision training exercises can lead to benefits in older children and, according to certain reports, even in adults. In addition, conventional treatments mostly focus on the improvement of the monocular visual acuity and the benefits of binocular vision are not directly addressed. As proper binocular vision is often just as important, vision training solutions that address the issue of stereovision, such as dichoptic binocular vision training, add another important aspect of vision rehabilitation.
With the advancement of computer capabilities, vision training is evolving faster than ever. Will it one day replace conventional amblyopia treatment altogether? Probably not. Will it become even more important in the management of amblyopia and other disorders of vision? Without a doubt.