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What to Do When Your Optometry Patient Has Amblyopia: Downloadable Flowchart

Jul 8, 2020
1 min read
2.8k views

As an OD, you'll undoubtedly encounter amblyopia, particularly in your pediatric patients. Here's a flowchart on treatment options for this diagnosis!

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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.

While we make every effort to provide accurate information that is helpful to your practice of optometry, this information may contain errors and is not to be used in place of your own professional medical judgment. Under no circumstances shall CovalentCareers be responsible for damages arising from the use of this information.

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About Sarah Nowicki, OD

Dr. Sarah Nowicki is an optometrist practicing in northern Delaware. She is a 2016 graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University, where she also completed her residency in Primary Care/Ocular Disease. She sees a wide variety of patients in a busy OD/MD practice. Her clinical interests include ocular manifestations or systemic diseases, especially cranial nerve palsies. Outside of the exam lame she enjoys cooking, working out, and enjoying the outdoors.


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