Studies offer contradictory answers to ‘lazy eye’ question

Studies offer contradictory answers to ‘lazy eye’ question

Two new studies have offered contradictory answers to the question as to whether playing video games on a tablet PC work better than typical eye-patching for improving vision in kids with amblyopia or lazy eye.

In one of the two studies, researchers found that standard eye-patching works better in improving vision in kids with lazy eye. But, the other study suggested that computer gaming outperforms standard treatment.

Dr. John Sloper, an ophthalmologist who wrote a patch-versus-play editorial for JAMA Ophthalmology, said that they found no evidence suggesting that a computer game is better than typical eye-patching.

Speaking on the topic, Dr. Sloper said, "If parents prefer their child to play a computer game for an hour a day rather than wear a patch for what is usually two hours a day, then the computer games are a reasonable alternative. But there is no evidence that they produce better results in the long term."

An estimated 3 per cent of children in the United States have lazy eye. In these children, the brain favors one eye to see over the other. In the standard treatment, a patient wears a patch over the stronger eye for a couple of hours per day to force the lazy eye into use.

The findings of the two new studies were detailed in the most recent edition of the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.