Objective: To compare 2 hours vs 6 hours of daily patching as treatments for moderate amblyopia in children younger than 7 years.
Methods: In a randomized multicenter (35 sites) clinical trial, 189 children younger than 7 years with amblyopia in the range of 20/40 to 20/80 were assigned to receive either 2 hours or 6 hours of daily patching combined with at least 1 hour per day of near visual activities during patching.Main Outcome Measure Visual acuity in the amblyopic eye after 4 months.
Results: Visual acuity in the amblyopic eye improved a similar amount in both groups. The improvement in the visual acuity of the amblyopic eye from baseline to 4 months averaged 2.40 lines in each group (P =.98). The 4-month visual acuity was at least 20/32 and/or improved from baseline by 3 or more lines in 62% of patients in each group (P>.99).
Conclusion: When combined with prescribing 1 hour of near visual activities, 2 hours of daily patching produces an improvement in visual acuity that is of similar magnitude to the improvement produced by 6 hours of daily patching in treating moderate amblyopia in children aged 3 to 7 years.