Tags: Vision | Training | Can | Cure | 'Lazy | Eye'

Vision Training Can Cure 'Lazy Eye'

Wednesday, 21 December 2005 12:00 AM

Special visual training can help young adults with amblyopia, or lazy eye, permanently improve the disabling condition.

A lazy eye in children appears normal but cannot see properly, even with corrective lenses. If untreated, the eye will not develop fully, and can result in permanent vision loss.

Amblyopia has been considered incurable in children older than eight. But the new study, published online by Vision Research, found the special training provided a 70 percent improvement in eye chart performance in 19-year-old subjects, with a one-year retention rate of 90 percent.

The researchers trained the subjects in detection of a small "gabor" (pronounced ga-BOR), a set of three contrasting dark and light ovals that neurophysiologists have identified as a basic unit of visual perception.

Surprisingly, improvement in this abstract exercise generalized to a marked improvement in standard vision tests. The seven subjects improved their overall visual acuity 25 to 216 percent, with an average of 70 percent.

"Detecting simple visual patterns turned out to be quite useful for improving visual acuity for amblyopia patients, typically measured by eye chart reading," said co-author Zhong-Lin Lu, professor of psychology in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and co-director of the Dornsife Neuroscience Imaging Center.

"You train on one of these gabors, you can generalize this to a whole bunch of different gabors, and also generalize this to an eye chart," Lu said.

"It could become a clinical procedure."

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Special visual training can help young adults with amblyopia, or lazy eye, permanently improve the disabling condition. A lazy eye in children appears normal but cannot see properly, even with corrective lenses. If untreated, the eye will not develop fully, and can...
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Wednesday, 21 December 2005 12:00 AM
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