Training at-home on a dichoptic reading application improves visual function in adults with amblyopia

Poster Presentation: Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, Banyan Breezeway
Session: Binocular Vision: Clinical

Nicole A. Dranitsaris1,2 (), Ken Chong2, Robert F. Hess1,2, Alexandre Reynaud1,2; 1McGill University, 2Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

Recent research on treatments for amblyopia has shifted its focus from conventional patching, which is only applicable in childhood, to exploring dichoptic tasks. This study leveraged a new approach using an important daily task, reading, to improve amblyopic vision. Here, we assessed if training at-home on a dichoptic E-book application can be an alternative treatment for binocular vision in amblyopia. The dichoptic reading application (DEBRA) was uploaded onto tablets displaying E-books in red/green/black presentation, with each word of text being one of the three colors. By using anaglyph red/green glasses different text could be shown to each eye simultaneously, forcing the individual to combine the input from both eyes. At an initial visit, adult amblyopic participants were given an ophthalmic assessment, then reading speed and eye movements patterns while reading were recorded. Next, participants brought the technology home and trained for one hour per day across two weeks. At the outcome visit they were reassessed on the tests from the initial visit and completed a visual comfort questionnaire. Preliminary results demonstrated improved visual acuity, and contrast sensitivity in most participants. There was variability in task compliance, with some participants being able to easily read everyday for an hour per day and others having more difficulty following this training protocol. Based on the visual comfort questionnaire responses, majority of participants did not experience visual discomfort while completing the dichoptic training for two weeks. Overall, this preliminary study demonstrated that daily training on a dichoptic reading application at home for two weeks can improve amblyopic visual function. More data will clarify if eye movement patterns and other altered ophthalmic factors in amblyopia can be treated by completing the training. Future steps are aimed at collecting more data from amblyopes and ameliorating the user-friendliness of the application.

Acknowledgements: This project was funded by Vision Health Research Network and Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada grants provided to Nicole Dranitsaris as well as the Trottier-Webster Research Innovation Fund, Pediatric Research Foundation, and IGNTE grants provided to Alexandre Reynaud.