Purpose: To provide an overview of the current state of knowledge of amblyopia and highlight recent advances in diagnosis and treatment.
Design: Review of literature and perspective.
Methods: MEDLINE search for amblyopia, with a review of all recent literature adding authors' personal perspectives on the findings.
Results: Increased awareness of amblyopia and better screening techniques are required to identify children who are at risk for amblyopia at a younger age. Randomized, controlled trials have established atropine penalization as a viable alternative to occlusion therapy, have suggested that less treatment may be better tolerated and as effective as more traditionally used dosages, and have found no compelling evidence that treatment is beneficial clinically for older (over age 10) children with amblyopia.
Conclusion: Early detection and treatment of amblyopia can improve the chances for a successful visual outcome. Considering that the conditions that place a patient at risk for amblyopia can be identified, that amblyopia responds to treatment, and that well-tolerated treatments for the condition are now recognized, it is not unreasonable to imagine that, in the near future, severe amblyopia could be eliminated as a public health problem.