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Current trends in amblyopia therapy: Atropine penalization

1 May 2004


The Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group reported the prevalence of amblyopia to be between 1% and 4% making amblyopia the most common visual impairment in children. The classic and simple method of patching the non-amblyopic eye has been a mainstay of initial amblyopia treatment for most eye practitioners. This penalizes the sound eye and requires the amblyopic eye to be used. However, in the first phase of the Amblyopia Treatment Study researchers found that there was no significant difference in effectiveness between patch and atropine therapy over a six month therapy period. ATS 1 proved equal effectivity showing that the six-month acuity had improved from baseline by 3 or more lines in 79% of the subjects in the patched group and 74% for the atropine group. While each method of treatment has advantages and disadvantages for use, we find that atropine offers a mode of treatment with improved cosmesis, ease of administration and a potential for increased compliance with children who are resistant to traditional amblyopia treatment.


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