The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has presented a treatment for amblyopia a.k.a. lazy eye in its 119th Annual meeting this year. Programmable Electronic Glasses have been developed by the AAO researchers to treat amblyopia. While the technology is simple, what it achieves is rather ground-breaking for children who suffer from the lazy eye.
What is lazy eye?
Lazy eye is a condition found in children who have a weak eyesight in an eye that did not develop normally. This happens when one eye is more near-sighted than the other. Alternatively, it is also caused when one eye wanders or strays inwards. Ophthalmologists advise that children suffering from amblyopia should undergo treatment before the age of 8 or else it may lead to a weaker eye or in some cases complete blindness in the affected eye.
How to cure amblyopia?
Timely treatment of the lazy eye is of utmost importance. Treatments are available in the form of eye patches and medicated drops. The treatment is based on the occlusion method where the vision of the eye with the best sight is blocked. This coerces the brain to rely on the ‘lazy eye’ which leads to improvement in vision in the affected eye. While children may still have to wear glasses to correct their vision completely, these methods have made a substantial difference.
The problem faced by ophthalmologists and parents is to ensure that children use the eye patch. In addition to this, many children have apprehensions about using eye drops and do not comply very easily. This is a big roadblock for curing amblyopia.
Programmable Electronic Glasses- How do they make a difference?
The Programmable Electronic Glasses which are being called Amblyz occlusion glasses created by AAO are meant to combine visual correction and occlusion. The lenses are made of LCD and can turn opaque so that vision in one eye is blocked. It achieves the same result as an eye patch but is found to be more comfortable for children.
The glasses have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and will be available in The US for approximately $450 from eye care professionals.