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iPad game effective in treating lazy eye

Patching the unaffected eye has been the standard treatment for amblyopia (lazy eye) but a special iPad game has been found to be more effective than patching. A study was recently published in the online JAMA Ophthalmology.  Researchers at the Retina Foundation in Dallas randomly assigned 28 children diagnosed with amblyopia to treatment using a binocular iPad or patching. The children using the binocular iPad had to wear special glasses that separated game elements seen by each eye. In order to play the game successfully, both eyes had to see their respective game components. The iPad participants had to play the game at home for one hour each day, five days a week for two weeks for a total of 10 hours. Results showed that the iPad participants improved their amblyopic eye visual acuity by 1.5 lines compared to children who had been patched who only saw an improvement of 0.7 line. In addition, the iPad subjects had 50% less treatment time with their ten hours compared to the 28 hours needed for patching therapy. Additional research is needed to determine if the iPad treatment is effective long-term.*

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