iPad games effective against amblyopia

August 21, 2014

A home-based treatment of amblyopia that incorporated an iPad quickly resulted in improved visual acuity (VA) in the children in whom it was tested, and VA remained stable for at least 3 months after the treatment ended, according to research published online.

A home-based treatment of amblyopia that incorporated an iPad quickly resulted in improved visual acuity (VA) in the children in whom it was tested, and VA remained stable for at least 3 months after the treatment ended, according to research published online by Eye.

The binocular treatment is promising, according to the Texas researchers, because monocular treatment does not always lead to 6/6 vision, and patients often see the return of amblyopia. "In addition to the efficacy and durability of this binocular iPad treatment, it is fun and engaging and results in better compliance than patching, at the same time imposes little risk for adverse psychosocial effects," the authors say.

In the study, children aged 4 to 12 years played either sham games or binocular games on an iPad for 4 hours a week for 4 weeks while wearing anaglyphic glasses. Children assigned to binocular games could choose to play for an additional 4 weeks.

The sham group had 25 children, and the binocular group had 50. Approximately half of the children in each group also wore patching at a different time of day than when they were playing games.

Researchers measured best-corrected VA, suppression and stereoacuity at baseline, at the 4- and 8-week outcome visits, and 3 months after treatment ended. They found that, in the binocular group, mean VA went from 0.47±0.03 logMAR at baseline to 0.39±0.03 logMAR at 4 weeks. No significant change was seen in the sham group.

Patching did not change the effect of the binocular games on VA in the children, nor did an additional 4 weeks of treatment in those children playing the binocular games result in greater improvement in VA. Median stereoacuity remained unchanged in both groups.

For full details of the study click

here

.