Current treatments fall short as they are uncomfortable, often do not result in full vision recovery, and are monocular in nature. Since amblyopia is a binocular deficit, these current treatments rarely improve binocular vision and stereoacuity (depth perception).
Though effective, patching has numerous limitations. Patching suffers from very low compliance rates as the eyepatch is limiting, inconvenient and bares social stigma. Furthermore, while using the patch, the visual system doesn’t receive input from the dominant eye which limits the development of depth perception and synchronization between the two eyes. This is one of the reasons why amblyopic patients may experience recurring amblyopia following patching treatment as their eyes are not trained to work together.
Treatment with atropine drops also causes great discomfort and consequently low compliance. Prolonged use of atropine drops may lead to local eye irritation and redness, stinging, swelling of the eyelids, sensitivity to bright light, dry mouth, and blurred vision.
The blurred vision, caused by the atropine, will last for approximately seven days after
the last administration. The dilated pupil may remain for as long as 14 days.
There are emerging alternative digital treatments such as VR headsets and mobile games that act as a training routine. These alternatives are hard to comply with as they utilize uncomfortable gear that is not suited for young children or require the active participation of the patient with repetitive training routines not always suitable for young ages.