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Authors
Mitchell M Scheiman, Richard W Hertle, Roy W Beck, Allison R Edwards, Eileen Birch, Susan A Cotter, Earl R Crouch Jr, Oscar A Cruz, Bradley V Davitt, Sean Donahue, Jonathan M Holmes, Don W Lyon, Michael X Repka, Nicholas A Sala, David I Silbert, Donny W Suh, Susan

Randomized trial of treatment of amblyopia in children aged 7 to 17 years

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Abstract/Introduction

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of treatment of amblyopia in children aged 7 to 17 years.

Methods: At 49 clinical sites, 507 patients with amblyopic eye visual acuity ranging from 20/40 to 20/400 were provided with optimal optical correction and then randomized to a treatment group (2-6 hours per day of prescribed patching combined with near visual activities for all patients plus atropine sulfate for children aged 7 to 12 years) or an optical correction group (optical correction alone). Patients whose amblyopic eye acuity improved 10 or more letters (> or =2 lines) by 24 weeks were considered responders.


Conclusion/Results

Results: In the 7- to 12-year-olds (n = 404), 53% of the treatment group were responders compared with 25% of the optical correction group (P<.001). In the 13- to 17-year-olds (n = 103), the responder rates were 25% and 23%, respectively, overall (adjusted P = .22) but 47% and 20%, respectively, among patients not previously treated with patching and/or atropine for amblyopia (adjusted P = .03). Most patients, including responders, were left with a residual visual acuity deficit.

Conclusions: Amblyopia improves with optical correction alone in about one fourth of patients aged 7 to 17 years, although most patients who are initially treated with optical correction alone will require additional treatment for amblyopia. For patients aged 7 to 12 years, prescribing 2 to 6 hours per day of patching with near visual activities and atropine can improve visual acuity even if the amblyopia has been previously treated. For patients 13 to 17 years, prescribing patching 2 to 6 hours per day with near visual activities may improve visual acuity when amblyopia has not been previously treated but appears to be of little benefit if amblyopia was previously treated with patching. We do not yet know whether visual acuity improvement will be sustained once treatment is discontinued; therefore, conclusions regarding the long-term benefit of treatment and the development of treatment recommendations for amblyopia in children 7 years and older await the results of a follow-up study we are conducting on the patients who responded to treatment.


Testimonials


  • Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.


    Anna P.

  • I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.


    June S.

  • Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.


    Christine R.

  • Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.


    Lars Wulff

  • Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.


    Justin E.

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