Modified virtual reality technology for treatment of amblyopia

Eye (Lond). 2006 Mar;20(3):370-4. doi: 10.1038/sj.eye.6701882.


Purpose: The conventional patching/occlusion treatment for amblyopia sometimes gives disappointing results for a number of reasons: it is unpopular, prolonged, frequently resulting in poor or noncompliance, and also disrupts fusion. The aim of this research was to develop a novel virtual-reality (VR)-based display system that facilitates the treatment of amblyopia with both eyes stimulated simultaneously.

Methods: We have adopted a multidisciplinary approach, combining VR expertise with a team of ophthalmologists and orthoptists to develop the Interactive Binocular Treatment (I-BiT) system. This system incorporates adapted VR technology and specially written software providing interactive 2D and 3D games and videos to the patient via a stereo (binocular) display, and a control screen for the clinician.

Results: We developed a prototype research system designed for treatment of amblyopia in children.

Conclusions: The result is a novel way to treat amblyopia, which allows binocular treatment. It is interactive, and as it is partially software based, can be adapted to suit the age/ability, and needs of the patient. This means that the treatment can be made captivating and enjoyable. Further research is on-going to determine the efficacy of this new modality in the treatment of amblyopia.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Amblyopia / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Simulation
  • Computer Systems
  • Humans
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Software
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Vision, Binocular