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Bright Eyes Kids in Westchase Fl

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Fox 13’s Dr. Jo Comes to Bright Eyes to Cover Vision Therapy for Amblyopia

I usually go to bed around 9:30pm, so I was surprised when Edna, Bright Eyes Family Vision Care’s head Vision Therapist, texted me at 10:15 pm to say “You are on the news! Turn on Fox 13!”

She was right. The 4 minute video on our vision therapy program was shown that night and it was repeated the next morning. It was seen by lots of people, judging by the phone calls and email afterward.

You might remember that this summer an adult patient, Betsy, and I were interviewed by Bay News 9 about virtual reality therapy for strabismus (mis-aligned eyes). Well, this was essentially a companion piece to that interview. This time the Dr. Jo from Fox 13 News and her camera man came to Bright Eyes Kids to do a story about amblyopia (sometimes called “lazy eye”). It featured a delightful young patient of mine, Ben, and his parents.

You can watch the video below and if you’d like to read the print story and see some pictures, you can go here.

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I love this video. It makes some important points that modern treatment of amblyopia does not involve wearing an eye patch, but rather new technology to teach the eyes how to work together. Not all patients in vision therapy use contact lenses, but that is common in amblyopia treatment, even for young children.

Not only does it cover the subject of amblyopia well, but you can really see the excitement of Ben and his mom. He really has made incredible progress with vision therapy!

It is very rewarding that the media has been interested in our Vivid Vision Virtual Reality Vision Therapy program. It is a wonderfully fun and high-tech application of the principles we use in vision therapy to help children and adults with problems like amblyopia, strabismus and more.

If you are looking for evaluation or treatment of amblyopia, strabismus, or other visual problem for you or your child, request an appointment or call us at (813)-792-0637.

-Dr. Nate

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care and Bright Eyes Kids

Acupuncture for Amblyopia (Lazy eye)?

A recent study came out yesterday that has a lot of people talking. Acupuncture may be as effective in treating amblyopia (lazy eye) as patching.

From the CNN story Needles trump patches in treating kids’ eye problem:

In the randomized trial, researchers compared the effectiveness of two hours of daily patching therapy with acupuncture for treating lazy eye in 88 children aged 7 to 12. All children had already worn glasses for at least 16 weeks. 43 of the children were randomly assigned to the acupuncture treatment group, receiving five treatments per week that targeted five needle insertion sites. 45 children in the patch group had their stronger eye patched for two hours per day and were instructed to do activities such as reading and typing, which helps to strengthen near vision in the weaker eye.

What do I think about this? I don’t know. I’m not highly educated in acupuncture. I do think it has it’s place. I do know that patching alone is not as effective as vision therapy because patching treats one eye and not both. (See this recent post by Dr. Len Press for additional info). So it is not compelling that acupuncture is better than patching.

I also know that amblyopia is much more than a visual acuity problem. It is a problem of many visual skills including focusing and perception. So much more extensive research needs to be done. But this is a good sign that ophthalmologists and visual scientists are looking into complex areas of vision and visual treatment.

Before anyone undertakes acupuncture for amblyopia, I do recommend a comprehensive visual and eye health evaluation by an optometrist who specializes in children’s vision. If you need to find one, COVD is a great place to start.

So that is my opinion. What do you think about acupuncture for amblyopia?

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Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

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The Science Behind Amblyopia Treatment

You may have a friend or family member who has had or is currently undergoing treatment for amblyopia. Even if you don’t know anyone with amblyopia, you likely have some idea that sometimes kids have to wear an eyepatch to improve the vision in their other eye. That treatment is indeed the time-honored, effective treatment of “lazy eye.”

But have we learned anything since the first patch was used? How many hours are you supposed to patch? Are there other options? Do they work? How do we know?

Fortunately, visual scientists have been hard at work the last few years, giving us valuable information that can help doctors guide their patients and parents towards the best, most effective, best tolerated treatment. I have selected a few research studies to cover here. If you want more detail, follow the links provided to obtain your own copy of the studies.

Of course, (and this goes without saying, but I must say it) TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR before acting on anything written here or changing any part of your prescribed treatment. If you have questions about how this research affects your treatment, print out the study and take it with you to the next evaluation.

Now, on to the studies………

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