Eye doctors have found that video games are a different yet fun way to treat amblyopia, or lazy eye, besides corrective lenses, patching, and eye exercises.
What is Lazy Eye?
Amblyopia or lazy eye is a disorder that typically begins in infancy and early childhood affecting the visual acuity of the eyes.
Lazy Eye Causes
Amblyopia has three types with various underlying causes:
Deprivation amblyopia– develops when something prevents light from entering and focusing on the eye of a baby.
Refractive amblyopia– caused by a high refractive error in a perfectly aligned eye when a child is born.
Strabismic amblyopia– occurs on misaligned eyes. This happens when the brain leaves the not perfectly aligned eye or the lazy eye, aiding the correctly aligned.
Identifying the amblyopia early is important for it to be given appropriate treatment.
Common Lazy Eye Treatments
Doctors commonly patch the dominant eye, strengthening the poor eye as a treatment for amblyopia. Also, they do vision therapy or eye exercises during amblyopia treatment.
Refractive amblyopia often uses corrective lenses, whereas strabismic amblyopia is treated typically by patching, vision therapy, and with strabismus surgery. Children can also use Atropine eye drops for condition management. Permanent vision loss could be an effect of untreated amblyopia.
Children Video Games for Lazy Eye Treatment
Retina Foundation of the Southwest administered a two-week study among 28 children with amblyopia, dividing them into two groups and used two different ways of treatment.
The first group had eyepatches for 28 hours or 2 hours per day in 14 days, while the second group played 1 hour of binocular iPad application for 10 out of 14 days. The anaglyph eyeglasses worn by the second group strengthened the weaker eye throughout the activity.
The results indicated that those who played on the iPad had 1.5 lines of visual acuity improvement of the amblyopic eye, while those who wore eyepatches had 0.7 lines improvement. The iPad game showed more effectiveness and needed less time but with better outcomes.
Also, they found out that the improvements from the iPad applications for best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) lasted a year after being treated and showed a faster development than patching.
Amblyopia Video Games
With the help of 3D technology and the availability of mobile applications designed for amblyopia, video games are a potential treatment for the child’s condition even at home. These certain video games have special coloring and need 3D anaglyph glasses available in different colors, blue and red, and red and green. GamE-blyopia, Amblyopia — Lazy Eye, and Lazy Eye Blocks are examples of amblyopia video games made for different age groups.
Since amblyopia treatments are significant for healthy long-term vision, video games providing both long-time effects and entertainment for children are advantageous. Along with regular eye exams and checkups, the best method is determined for a quicker improvement of the child’s condition.