Amblyopia: could we do better?BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6988.1153 (Published 06 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1153
- Geoffrey Woodruff
- Senior lecturer Department of Ophthalmology, University of Leicester School of Medicine, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE2 7LX
Doctors need to pay as much attention to treatment and compliance as to detection
Amblyopia is a common cause of visual loss affecting between 1 and 4% of the population.1 In most cases it is unilateral and is associated with either misalignment of the eyes (strabismus) or a difference in refraction between the two eyes (anisometropia). Treatment, which is effective only in childhood, consists of prescribing glasses when appropriate and occluding the good eye to force the child to use the amblyopic eye. There is no doubt that this treatment can be highly effective, and a recent prospective study reported cure—that is, visual acuity within one line of that in the unaffected eye—in 89% of patients.2 Despite this, amblyopia remains widely prevalent in adults. Why is this? How important a problem is it? And, what, if anything, needs to be done?
Most people with amblyopia are barely aware of their disability since they rely on their good eye. Certainly their visual …