Thursday, January 21, 2010

Alana's Story & a Call for Help!

I received this email from Alana's mother. Please read Alana's amblyopia story and chime in if you can help in any way. She has not made improvement with patching and is seeking information on alternatives.

Thank you in advance!

Our 5 year old Alana was diagnosed with Amblyopia back in July 09. Pretty bad on the scale of being -13.50 in the left eye, VA is 20/150 with her glasses. Per Dr's orders we started with 4 hrs of patching, that was moved up to 6 hrs on the 3rd visit. Her last appt in December did not have any progress report or positive feedback. The Dr even brought up the idea of maybe seeking another opinion.

We just got a second opinion by another Pediatric Opto on Tuesday who confirmed the same refraction of -13.50 and advised that we go to full time patching with a brief hour break during the day. Even though it has been a struggle some days she has been such a trooper through all this and her patching. Especially with the support of the family and her big brother she has been a princess!

The Dr has brought up the idea of a new procedure of implanting an interocular lens called Verisyse. I have attached the Clinical trial brochure with the tests of 5 kids aged from 5-11 years of age. [The file can be found here]

The procedure is only intended for cases of -8 or higher. Has anyone heard of this alternative? We will be meeting with the Dr's at the Jewels Stein Eye Institute at UCLA CA next month. Hopefully they can give us some hope/answers to try to improve her vision since there has been no progress in 6 months with the patching. Don't get us wrong, patching is still a great treatment and the #1 treatment for Amblyopia but we're looking for alternatives since the patching has not helped..


  1. I have a family member that works for the vision council, I'll run this by him to see if he has any additional resources.

  2. Sorry to here about Alana's lack of improvement with the ptaching. Of course, I cannot give any specific input without examining her, but I can give some general comments:

    I do not have any experience with the Verisyse, but I have heard of other refractive procedures being done, such as LASIK, in severe cases such as this, so I wouldn't rule it out.

    I didn't see you mention anything about a contact lens for the eye with the high Rx. That may yield better vision during patching, which may result in more improvement, but you'd have to go with your doctor's recommendation there.

    I also tell my patients that it is not as much the quantity of time but the quality of the patching. What type of activities and games are you doing with her while patching. Sometimes office vision therapy with a lot of fine eye-hand coordination activities is is useful to engage and stimulate the vision.

    Good luck!

  3. Thank you both for your input.(sorry she is 4,typo)
    Mr Bonilla-Warford OD,
    In regards to patching we do computer activities,puzzles,outdoor activities,Wii Pretty much all daily activities since she has to wear it full time.Your the second person that has mentioned vision therapy, we will definitely look into that

    Thank you