Detection, prevention, and rehabilitation of amblyopia

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Although there is a continuing effort to develop effective measures for detecting amblyopia, the debate continues in many countries as to the real value of population-wide pediatric vision screening programs. Nevertheless, amblyopia still represents a significant and treatable clinical problem for the practicing ophthalmologist. In this past year's literature, we can find that many visual functions are abnormal in amblyopia, but only a few are measured to reach a diagnosis or monitor treatment. Unfortunately, the wide variety of the measurement methods and the lack of definition for a cure of amblyopia are the cause of serious criticism of our “scientific” literature on the subject. All the while, old methods of treatment are resurfacing again: optical and pharmacological penalizations. The search for a possible “pill” to either replace or at least complement conventional methods of treatment also has continued in 1997 and 1998. As well, there have been quite a few papers on the long-term management of amblyopia. Finally, this review would not be complete without reporting on the “controversy du jour:” a report that challenges the need to cure amblyopia before operating on esotropia.

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