Binocular amblyopia treatment with contrast-rebalanced movies

J AAPOS. 2019 Jun;23(3):160.e1-160.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2019.02.007. Epub 2019 May 16.


Background: Binocular amblyopia treatments promote visual acuity recovery and binocularity by rebalancing the signal strength of dichoptic images. Most require active participation by the amblyopic child to play a game or perform a repetitive visual task. The purpose of this study was to investigate a passive form of binocular treatment with contrast-rebalanced dichoptic movies.

Methods: A total of 27 amblyopic children, 4-10 years of age, wore polarized glasses to watch 6 contrast-rebalanced dichoptic movies on a passive 3D display during a 2-week period. Amblyopic eye contrast was 100%; fellow eye contrast was initially set to a lower level (20%-60%), which allowed the child to overcome suppression and use binocular vision. Fellow eye contrast was incremented by 10% for each subsequent movie. Best-corrected visual acuity, random dot stereoacuity, and interocular suppression were measured at baseline and at 2 weeks.

Results: Amblyopic eye best-corrected visual acuity improved from 0.57 ± 0.22 at baseline to 0.42 ± 0.23 logMAR (t26 = 8.09; P < 0.0001; 95% CI for improvement, 0.11-0.19 logMAR). Children aged 3-6 years had more improvement (0.21 ± 0.11 logMAR) than children aged 7-10 years (0.11 ± 0.06 logMAR; t25 = 3.05; P = 0.005). Children with severe amblyopia (≥0.7 logMAR) at baseline experienced greater improvement (0.24 ± 0.12 logMAR) than children with moderate amblyopia at baseline (0.12 ± 0.06 logMAR; t25 = 3.49; P = 0.002).

Conclusions: In this cohort, passive viewing of contrast-rebalanced dichoptic movies effectively improved visual acuity in amblyopic subjects. The degree of improvement observed was similar to that previously reported for 2 weeks of binocular games treatment and with 3-4 months of occlusion therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amblyopia / physiopathology
  • Amblyopia / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Computers, Handheld*
  • Eyeglasses
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motion Pictures*
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Video Games*
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology*
  • Visual Acuity*