Lazy eyes have been the subject of a great deal of research. Eye care providers now know what age group is most effective to treat, what kind of change they can expect, and what time frame. In addition, it has been established which treatment method to use, whether it's a patch that covers the dominant eye, or eye drops that cause the dominant eye to take a back seat to the non-dominant eye, or whether vision therapy is used to treat amblyopia. All of these methods are available now. The best thing you can do is be seen by a functional optometrist  if you think you might have a lazy eye. With all the knowledge they have from the scientific studies done, they can tell you exactly what to do and give you an idea of what you can expect down the road as far as your vision goes.

Pediatric eye disease investigator group (PEDIG)

The Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG) is a group of optometrists and ophthalmologists funded by the National Eye Institute to conduct clinical research on various pediatric eye conditions. The majority of their research has focused on the treatment of amblyopia in children and adolescents and the comparison of various methods to find the most effective strategy.

Amblyopia treatment studies (ATS)

ATS research has greatly impacted how we treat amblyopia today. Various elements of the treatment will be discussed in greater detail below.

Optical Correction: Currently, the accepted method of treating patients involves correcting their eyesight first. Follow-up appointments are scheduled after the patient has worn the prescription glasses for a period of six to eight weeks. When the right glasses have been worn, some children will not require further treatment. During the follow-up appointment, the optometrist will determine if the child needs additional treatment in addition to wearing the correct prescription. The child is now in a better position to comply with further treatment since he or she can see clearly now.

Patching Patients who require further treatment can receive occlusion therapy, or patching. This study proved that patching for two hours a day yielded the same results as patching for six hours a day in children with moderate amblyopia. Six hours of patching a day was equivalent to a full day of patching for children with severe amblyopia. Additionally, children with severe amblyopia had excellent results from just 2 hours of daily patching.


Other references

The following references are from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development

  1. Hess RF, et al. Binocular vision in amblyopia: structure, suppression and plasticity.  Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2014 Mar;34(2):146-62
  2. S Grant, MJ Moseley. Research review of eye-hand coordination, walking, driving, and reading skills of children and adults with amblyopia. Strabismus, 2011; 19(3) 119-129
  3. Hess RF, et al. Restoration of binocular vision in amblyopia. Strabismus. 2011 Sep;19(3):110-8
  4. Mansouri B, et al. Binocular training reduces amblyopic visual acuity impairment. Strabismus. 2014 Mar;22(1):1-6
  5. J Carlton and E Kaltenthaler, Amblyopia and quality of life: a systematic review. Eye (2011) 25, 403-413
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