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Treatment of Adult Amblyopia

What is Adult Amblyopia?

Amblyopia is an under-development of the brains visual system. First it is important to note that we do not see with our eyes, but instead with our brain. Our eyes convert light to a brain signal and it is the brain that interprets this as vision.

Undevelopment of vision is most frequently caused by a lack of glasses during childhood. When a child needs glasses very badly but does not wear them, their brain will receive a poor signal from the eyes. The brain needs a high quality signal so that it can fully develop the ability to see. Without this high quality signal, the brain will not develop.

Often amblyopia only occurs in one eye. This is largely because children who need glasses for both eyes are more likely to be referred to eye doctors by their school or pediatrician, and they are more likely to wear their glasses.

As an adult, the brain has very little room for further development. Amblyopia is best addressed before the age of 7, but can be treated up to around 16 years of age. As you get older, the likelyhood of amblyopia 'fixing itself' decreases.

The Only Proven Treatment: RevitalVision

I have seen success using RevitalVision on adult amblyopia. My office participated in the study that shows it is effective in treating adult amblyopia. At that time the company's name was NeuroVision.

However, improvement in vision is fairly marginal given the time required doing therapy. This marginal improvement in vision should be weighed against the significant time and monetary costs. I would only recommend it to someone who is VERY enthusiastic about treating their adult amblyopia.

No other product has been proven to improve adult amblyopia, but there are some experimental treatments in the works. Click here to read about experimental treatments that have shown to reverse amblyopia in adult mice.

Traditional Vision Therapy vs RevitalVision

Note that traditional Vision Therapy, while very effective on children with eye control and alignment problems, is not meant for amblyopia. There is sometimes confusion about this especially because:

1. Amblyopia is one type of many visual developmental disorders. Other disorders are treated by V.T. but NOT amblyopia.

2. Only a few decades ago a lot of professional were hopeful that V.T. could improve amblyopia. It is clear now that it does not.

We are pleased to offer RevitalVision to our patients. For more information about RevitalVision, contact our office.

Lysle Shaw-McMinn, O.D.

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Written for Our Blog on Oct 1, 2015


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