Use of video games for the treatment of amblyopia

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To review the literature up to recent for the use of videos, videogames and dichoptic stimulation as a treatment for amblyopia.

Recent findings

There have been three strategies explored. The first is to use videos and videogames monocularly with the normal eye covered. The second is dichoptic stimulation with a common background presented to both eyes and an enriched foreground to the amblyopic eye. The third are games specifically designed to generate stereopsis. Most work has focused on the second of these approaches but both of the first two approaches seem to give a similar improvement of 0.1–0.2 logMAR. One large randomized control trial (RCT) has published showing that dichoptic stimulation is not inferior to patching but no evidence that it was superior. It also showed that video games have their own compliance problems and a second smaller RCT did suggest that videogames, with a game designed by a gaming company, was superior. Most of the work done has had methodological issues and should be considered exploratory rather than definitive.

Summary

Dichoptic stimulation is a viable treatment option for the treatment of amblyopia. The first trial results have shown results that are not superior to patching but they are not without methodological issues. There is sufficient encouragement to justify further research in this area.

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