What is amblyopia?
Amblyopia is a decreased best-corrected visual acuity in one or both eyes, without any obvious structural abnormalities or ocular disease. It is associated with refractive error, strabismus, or deprivation that occurs during visual development. It is the most common cause of monocular vision loss in children. Amblyopia can be graded based on the best-corrected visual acuity at the start of treatment. Moderate amblyopia is defined as 20/40 to 20/80 visual acuity. Severe amblyopia is defined as 20/100 to 20/400 visual acuity.
While every case is unique, this flowchart covers the guidelines for treatment.
Diagnosis of amblyopia
- Strabismic amblyopia is the most common type, and often occurs in the deviating eye
- Refractive amblyopia comes in two forms: isometropic and anisometropic
- Isometropic amblyopia develops when there are equal refractive errors in both eyes
- Anisometropic amblyopia develops when the refractive errors in the eyes differ and the difference in focus on one retina disrupts the development of the visual pathway
- Deprivational amblyopia is one of the most severe forms of amblyopia, and is not covered by this treatment course.
How is amblyopia treated?
Amblyopia is treated by forcing the weaker, amblyopic eye to work harder. This is done by weakening the better-seeing eye through occlusion or blurring.
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