New advances in amblyopia therapy I: Binocular therapies and pharmacologic augmentation

Courtney L. Kraus, Susan M. Culican

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Amblyopia therapy options have traditionally been limited to penalisation of the non-amblyopic eye with either patching or pharmaceutical penalisation. Solid evidence, mostly from the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group, has validated both number of hours a day of patching and days per week of atropine use. The use of glasses alone has also been established as a good first-line therapy for both anisometropic and strabismic amblyopia. Unfortunately, visual acuity equalisation or even improvement is not always attainable with these methods. Additionally, non-compliance with prescribed therapies contributes to treatment failures, with data supporting difficulty adhering to full treatment sessions. Interest in alternative therapies for amblyopia treatment has long been a topic of interest among researchers and clinicians alike. Incorporating new technology with an understanding of the biological basis of amblyopia has led to enthusiasm for binocular treatment of amblyopia. Early work on perceptual learning as well as more recent enthusiasm for iPad-based dichoptic training have each generated interesting and promising data for vision improvement in amblyopes. Use of pharmaceutical augmentation of traditional therapies has also been investigated. Several different drugs with unique mechanisms of action are thought to be able to neurosensitise the brain and enhance responsiveness to amblyopia therapy. No new treatment has emerged from currently available evidence as superior to the traditional therapies in common practice today. But ongoing investigation into the use of both new technology and the understanding of the neural basis of amblyopia promises alternate or perhaps better cures in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1492-1496
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • child health (paediatrics)
  • treatment medical
  • vision


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