-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- Younger children respond
better to treatment for lazy eye (amblyopia) than older children,
according to an analysis of previous studies.
The meta-analysis of data from 996 children who took part in
four clinical trials conducted by the Pediatric Eye Disease
Investigator Group found that children ages 3 to 7 years old
responded better to treatment for both moderate and severe
amblyopia than those aged 7 to less than 13.
There were no differences in treatment response between children
aged 3 to less than 5 and those aged 5 to less than 7 with moderate
amblyopia. However, children aged 3 to less than 5 with severe
amblyopia had a greater treatment response than those aged 5 to
less than 7.
Despite the lower treatment response in older children, they
still showed improvements in vision acuity (clarity) and some
achieved significant benefits, the researchers said.
"In conclusion, while there is improvement in visual acuity across all age ranges [from 3 to under 13], children 7 to less than 13 years of age are least responsive to amblyopia treatment," wrote review author Jonathon M. Holmes, of the Mayo Clinic in Rocheseter, Minn., and colleagues. "Despite reduced mean [average] treatment response in children 7 to less than 13 years of age, some children in this age group showed marked improvement with treatment."
The study appears online July 11 in the
Archives of Ophthalmology.
In related news, a research letter published in the same issue
of the journal concluded that an intensive final treatment effort
(using eye patches and atropine) does not appear to improve visual
acuity in children who still have mild amblyopia after initial
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has more about
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