It was long thought that treating amblyopia, the medical term for lazy-eye, after the "critical age" of 8-12 years old was not possible. Recent research has shown this is not the case. Though it is more difficult to treat adults, there is evidence that improvements in acuity, depth perception, and vergence ability are all possible through vision therapy, eye surgery, and visual perceptual training. Amblyopia is now treated through a combination of lenses, active vision therapy including Vivid Vision. The total treatment will vary based on the practitioner the patient chooses but the therapy is largely the same.
Susan R. Barry, a neuroscientist was the first person to have received widespread media attention for having acquired stereo vision in adulthood and attributes Dr. Brock, inventor of the Brock String and an important aspect of vision therapy and in her recovery of stereopsis. This discovery maintains the scientific conceptions with regard to the neuroplasticity of the visual system.
Sue Barry put into words what many vision therapy patients experience on a daily basis. We know, partly, through her remarkable improvements in stereo vision, the ability to make these neoplastic connections are attainable even through adulthood.
A study was done by Dr. Levi et. al, that states that "Our review of the various approaches to treating amblyopia (patching, perceptual learning, videogames) suggests that there are several promising new approaches to recovering stereopsis in both anisometropic and strabismic amblyopes." Even more interesting is that people with Strabismic Amblyopia need more active stereo (3D) training than those with a major acuity difference and no eye turn. Furthermore, in this same study, it is suggested that "Individuals with strabismic amblyopia have a very low probability of improvement with monocular training; however they fare better with dichoptic training than with monocular training, and even better with direct stereo training." Even if the patient has double vision, it is possible in Vivid Vision to align the two images to allow the brain to resolve the double vision. When the double vision is resolved, it is then possible to work on training direct stereo.
There is overwhelming evidence suggesting that presenting the images to the eyes in a therapeutic manner (such as Vivid Vision) rehabilitates the brain to a level that allows both eyes to be used together and thus, no lazy eye! Vivid Vision has dichoptic training to treat lazy eye in adults successfully. Often times, patients with amblyopia as an adult are left without treatment with the assumption of the "critical period. The critical period has been debunked time and time again, yet some practitioners continue to use this as a basis for not treating adult patients. The good news is, since Vivid Vision started, we have heard hundreds of success stories from adults around the world who have had the opportunity to use the software in-clinic and at home. Those stories can be found in the blog section of our website. You can also find them at the bottom of this page.
Video games have long been used in the entertainment category. Now, more than ever before, they are being used to rehabilitate not just lazy eye, but anxiety, physical therapy, etc. Wouldn't you want to play video games and treat your eyes at the same time? That is why Vivid Vision was created! To allow folks, to train their brain to use both eyes while being actively engaged. Our video game is not only fun and engaging but it is also working to help train the patient's brain to recognize images from both eyes. Gone are the days of the eye patch! Now we actively engage both eyes, even eye surgery may be a thing of the past! Of course, the type of video game is going to matter when treating lazy eye in adults (and kids). That is why Vivid Vision was specifically designed to focus specifically on elements of therapy that are most suited for the treatment of lazy eye.
When we think about vision therapy, most think of how to motivate children to do the required activities. However, when an adult comes in for vision therapy, a lot of the time they are intrinsically motived to do all of the activities. Vivid Vision makes that motivation that much easier to have for adults because they know they are treating their lazy eye with quality software that they are excited to use every day. Even adults can have compliance issues with patching. Can you imagine patching your good eye while you work? There are very few if any of us that can bear to have our good eye patched while working. Vivid Vision doesn't require a patch because the software is actively engaging both eyes and thus the brain. Lazy eye treatment is highly dependant on compliance of the patient. Having a video game to play makes vision therapy that much easier to enjoy and thus comply with.
Many adults have indicated that having a lazy eye causes them stress and low self-esteem, especially in the workplace. Adults with lazy eye are often not able to become pilots or other professions that require the use of both eyes together. Once an adult patient is able to treat the lazy eye, the possibilities of career open. This often gives people the confidence it takes to seek a new career. Often times before vision therapy, adults who have lazy eye are looked at and made fun of. This can be debilitating to some adults, leaving them with low self-esteem, anxiety, etc. Blurry vision is also a huge factor for patients with lazy eye. Having that visual blur means that the adult patient is reliant on their glasses or contacts to see. Most adults with lazy eye have been wearing their glasses or contacts for so long that it is like second nature to have them. However, most patients will switch to contacts, again because of self-esteem.