An exploratory study: prolonged periods of binocular stimulation can provide an effective treatment for childhood amblyopia

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Feb 21;53(2):817-24. doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-8219.


Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to explore the potential for treating childhood amblyopia with a binocular stimulus designed to correlate the visual input from both eyes.

Methods: Eight strabismic, two anisometropic, and four strabismic and anisometropic amblyopes (mean age, 8.5 ± 2.6 years) undertook a dichoptic perceptual learning task for five sessions (each lasting 1 hour) over the course of a week. The training paradigm involved a simple computer game, which required the subject to use both eyes to perform the task.

Results: A statistically significant improvement (t(₁₃) = 5.46; P = 0.0001) in the mean visual acuity (VA) of the amblyopic eye (AE) was demonstrated, from 0.51 ± 0.27 logMAR before training to 0.42 ± 0.28 logMAR after training with six subjects gaining 0.1 logMAR or more of improvement. Measurable stereofunction was established for the first time in three subjects with an overall significant mean improvement in stereoacuity after training (t(₁₃) =2.64; P = 0.02).

Conclusions: The dichoptic-based perceptual learning therapy employed in the present study improved both the monocular VA of the AE and stereofunction, verifying the feasibility of a binocular approach in the treatment of childhood amblyopia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amblyopia / physiopathology
  • Amblyopia / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Perception / physiology*