A team of researchers from Dallas achieved marvelous results in treating infantile amblyopia by using a most unusual method.
According to Krista Kelly, a postdoctoral student and the lead author of the study, infantile amblyopia, or lazy eye, can be treated more efficiently using a specially designed Ipad games rather than resorting to traditional treatments.
Amblyopia, most commonly known as lazy eye is a condition that affects 3 in 100 children. The medical literature on the subject states that the condition occurs as a result of a muscular or visuals defects.
To test out this promising new treatment, Kelly and her colleagues selected 28 children, with ages between 4 and 10. Note that all of them were diagnosed with amblyopia in various stages.
The children were divided into two study groups – one that used the Ipad game as a method of treating amblyopia, and a second one which employed eyes patches as treatment.
After the specialists installed the special game on the children’s handheld devices, they’ve asked them to play the game for one hour per day, five days per week – a total of 10 hours. To play the game, the children had to wear special glasses, with green and red lenses.
As the author’s study explains, the role of the glasses is to separate various games elements. For example, the unaffected eye would have to process low-contrast in-game elements, while the one affected by the defect had to process high-contrast elements. In the end, both eyes were “forced” to pick up high-contrast in-game elements.
The postdoctoral student explains that this exercise determines the affected eye to work harder in order to keep up the pace.
As for the other group of children, the researchers asked them to wear an eye patch over their healthy eyes two hours per day and seven days per week – a total of 28 hours. The principle behind the eye patch is roughly the same – the treatment “forces” the lazy eye to keep up with the healthy one, thus establishing a stronger link between the eye and the brain.
The study’s results have shown that the iPad treatment was more effective at treating infantile amblyopia than the one involving an eye patch. As a result, approximately 39 percent of the children which engaged in the interactive game achieved a 20/32 vision after just 10 hours of gameplay, while only 7 percent of the children from the eye patch group showed improvement.
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