Traditional treatment of amblyopia, although still in use and of great value, has recently been challenged by data from studies relative to efficacy of different modalities and regimens of therapy. LogMAR-based acuity charts should be used, whenever possible, for diagnosis and monitoring. Refractive errors of certain magnitude should be prescribed, and correction worn for at least 4 months before occlusion or penalization are used. Occlusion has a linear dose-response effect (1 logMAR line gain per 120 hours of patching), and outcomes of 2 hour/day dosage are similar to more extended therapy, at least in moderate amblyopia, but increasing dosage beyond hastens the response. Pharmacologic, optical, or combined penalization is useful as an alternative or maintaining therapy, and is presumably of particular efficacy in anisometropic amblyopia. At least in moderate amblyopia, atropine penalization is as effective as patching in terms of visual acuity improvement and stereoacuity outcome.
Keywords: amblyopia; anisometropia; refractive error; strabismus.