Amblyopia 411: Amblyopia Treatment for Children
To help and support parents managing amblyopia treatment, the Amblyopia 411 Program provides high-quality information about amblyopia, its causes and appropriate treatment. The text below represents the first page of the Amblyopia 411 Guide, which is free to download and print.
Goals of Amblyopia Treatment
What are appropriate goals of amblyopia treatment?
The treatment goal is the best possible vision in each eye and use of the eye simultaneously (binocular vision). While not every child can improve to 20/20, most can obtain a substantial improvement in vision. Realistic goals depend on the age of the child and the level of vision when the amblyopia is diagnosed.
How long does amblyopia treatment last?
Vision usually improves within a few weeks but optimal results may take several months to a few years and depends on the visual acuity and age of diagnosis and treatment. Once vision has been maximized, maintenance treatment until, for example, age 9-10 years may be required to keep the vision from regressing.
What happens if amblyopia treatment does not work?
In some cases, treatment for amblyopia may not substantially improve vision. It is a difficult decision to discontinue treatment, but sometimes that is best for both the child and family. Children who have significant amblyopia in one eye should utilize protective eyewear to protect the better seeing eye from injury.
As long as the better seeing eye remains healthy, normal daily function is expected. There is no surgical treatment for amblyopia. The future holds promise for the development of new methods – including pharmacologic, technologic, genetic and other – but for now, patching and blurring (eye drops) of the dominant eye are the standard therapies.