The effectiveness of occluder contact lenses in improving occlusion compliance in patients that have failed traditional occlusion therapy

Optom Vis Sci. 2002 Jun;79(6):376-80. doi: 10.1097/00006324-200206000-00011.


Purpose: Management of infants and young children with dense amblyopia, including that which results from unilateral congenital cataracts, is challenging because of noncompliance with occlusion therapy. Occluder contact lenses (OCLs) have been described to successfully improve visual acuity in patients with amblyopia. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of OCLs in improving occlusion compliance in infants and young children with dense amblyopia who had failed traditional occlusion therapy.

Methods: Thirteen patients were fit in their nonamblyopic eye with OCLs provided by Wesley Jessen (Des Plaines, IL). All patients had dense amblyopia as diagnosed by a pediatric ophthalmologist. Nine of the 13 patients had deprivational amblyopia associated with unilateral aphakia, 2 patients had strabismic amblyopia, and the other 2 had mixed mechanism amblyopia. All patients had failed traditional occlusion methods. Occlusion was prescribed on a part-time basis to prevent occlusion amblyopia to the better-seeing eye. Compliance with the OCLs was determined by questioning the parents as to whether the prescribed occlusion time was accomplished.

Results: Five of the 13 patients (38.4%) did not succeed in the initial 1-mo trial period because of parental difficulties with lens handling. Four patients (30.7%) achieved partial success, as they were able to wear the lens between 4 to 14 mo, at which time they learned to remove the occluder lens. The four remaining patients (30.7%) successfully wore the occluder lenses until the conclusion of the study, a time period ranging from 26 to 60 mo. No complications resulted from OCLs.

Conclusions: OCLs can provide an alternative to achieving occlusion compliance after the failure of traditional occlusion therapy in infants and young children with dense amblyopia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amblyopia / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contact Lenses*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Sensory Deprivation*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome