Angela M. Chen, OD, MS*, Susan A. Cotter, OD, MS

The Amblyopia Treatment Studies: Implications for Clinical Practice

publication date
August 2016
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Amblyopia is the most common cause of monocular vision loss in children [1],

with an estimated prevalence of approximately 2% in the United States [2–4].

A developmental disorder of spatial vision, amblyopia is clinically defined as

decreased best-corrected visual acuity (VA) in 1 or, less frequently, both

eyes, in the absence of any obvious structural anomalies or ocular disease.


The mainstay of amblyopia treatment is optimal refractive correction; significant

gains in visual acuity, beyond the immediate gains from simply eliminating optical blur, often occur with continued wear of the optical correction.

When patching is prescribed, it is reasonable to initially prescribe 2 hours of

daily patching for moderate amblyopia and 6 hours of daily patching for severe


Atropine penalization of the sound eye or full-time wear of a Bangerter filter can

be prescribed for first-line amblyopia treatment or for patients who do not comply

with patching.

The upper age limit for amblyopia treatment is not established, albeit there are

generally greater gains in visual acuity if treatment occurs before 7 years of age.

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