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Research Lecture Series Dr. Fuensanta Vera-Diaz Presents: A Flicker Therapy for the Treatment of Amblyopia?

Please join Dr. Fuensanta Vera-Diaz, New England College of Optometry, Boston, MA, for a presentation entitled “A Flicker Therapy for the Treatment of Amblyopia.” The lecture will take place on March 29, 2016 as part of the Research Lecture Series. All are welcome to attend. One hour of Mass CE credit will be offered.

Please join us for a wine and cheese reception in Conference Room 1 following the lecture.

Abstract: Standard treatment methods for amblyopia penalize the non-amblyopic eye, with subsequent compliance problems. These treatments aim to improve the amblyopic’s eye visual acuity but do not address other spatial and temporal vision deficits associated with amblyopia or the binocular visionabnormality.  

This lecture will present results from a study that evaluated a novel, binocular approach to amblyopia treatment. In this study we used rapid alternating occlusion flicker glasses with the goal to improve monocular and binocular vision. The study was a pre-post (12 weeks) interventional study with historical control. Children with anisometropic amblyopia (ages 5 to 17 years, n=23) were enrolled by consecutive sample. Subjects wore shutter glasses with liquid crystal lenses that rapidly alternated occlusion at a programmable frequency, for 1-2 hours daily while performing a near task of their choice, e.g., homework, computer. Outcome measures were: (1) best-corrected LogMAR visual acuity (BCVA) and (2) Random Dot 2 stereopsis.

After 12 weeks of therapy, we found that 96% (n=22) of the children treated improved BCVA in the amblyopic eye (p<0.001) - over 26% (n=6) improved 2 LogMAR lines or more (fellow eye BCVA did not change) - and 89% of the children with reliable data (n=18) improved global stereopsis.

This relatively passive therapy shows encouraging results as a potential treatment for amblyopia. The improvement in BCVA is comparable to previous studies that used traditional amblyopia therapies. The improvement in stereopsis suggests that the therapy may promote binocular vision. Randomizedmasked and controlled studies are the next step to further quantify the clinical efficacy of this therapy.