Amblyopia is an example of abnormal visual development that is clinically defined as a reduction of best corrected Snellen acuity to less than 6/9 (20/30) in one eye or a two-line difference between the two eyes, with no visible signs of eye disease. We describe a sequential management program for anisometropic amblyopia that consists of four steps: (1) the full refractive correction, (2) added lenses or prism when needed to improve alignment of the visual axes, (3) 2 to 5 h/day of direct occlusion, and (4) active vision therapy to develop monocular acuity and improve binocular visual function. We examined records of 19 patients over 6 years of age who had been treated using this sequential management philosophy. After 15.2 (+/-7.7) weeks of treatment the Amblyopia Success Index (ASI) documented an average improvement in visual acuity of 92.1% +/- 8.1 with a range from a low of 75% by a 49-year-old patient to a maximum of 100% achieved by 42.1% of the patients (8 of 19). Patients who had completed therapy 1 or more years ago (N=4) maintained their acuity improvement. From these results we conclude that following a sequential management plan for treatment of anisometropic amblyopia can yield substantial long-lasting improvement in visual acuity and binocular function for patients of any age.
(C) 1992 American Academy of Optometry