Coming soon, a joystick to treat "lazy eyes" in kids

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Washington, June 23 (ANI): Children suffering from lazy eye syndrome may soon get rid of the ugly eye patch, courtesy a new computer therapy developed by researchers from Tel Aviv University.

Traditional treatment for amblyopia also known as lazy eye syndrome requires the use of an eye patch, often for months at a time, before the eye is corrected.

This, according to the researchers, can lead to social stigma during a formative part of childhood; moreover it's not 100 pct effective.

Dr. Uri Polat, Tel Aviv University's eye and brain specialist has developed a computer therapy that could spare kids from the ugly eye patch, letting them enjoy themselves during therapy.

And, this treatment, currently available for adults only, corrects the activity of the neurons in the brain, the main operator of eye function.

The study showed that twenty hours in front of Dr. Polat's computer treatment had the same effect as about 500 hours of wearing an eye patch.

In new treatment, special and random objects appear, keeping the patient constantly alert and expecting the unexpected.

However, the researchers have now collaborated with gaming specialists from Rochester University for developing a version of the therapy for kids.

"You see these poor kids in kindergarten wearing the patch. Everyone hates it, especially the parents who know what it's doing to their kid's self-esteem," said Dr. Polat.

"As far as I know this is really a one-of-a-kind, non-invasive and effective way to treat lazy eye, without the use of an embarrassing eye patch.

"This is probably the first treatment that attempts to correct lazy eyes in adults, something that doctors had previously given up on. Doctors don't suggest intervention after the age of nine, because it usually doesn't work," he Polat added.

The review was published recently in Vision Research. (ANI)

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