Amblyopia is very common in young children. Lack of use in an eye can result in a squint and the vision does not fully develop. It's a correctable problem however, as long as detection is early otherwise vision problems can remain permanent.
To treat the condition the weaker eye has to be trained to work harder. Patching is the most common method of training the bad eye, but this relies on the good nature and compliance of the patient for it to prove successful.
A new study in the Far East is looking at Amblyopia treatment that does not involve patching, but acupuncture instead.A total study group of eighty children in Hong Kong are being used, aged between seven and twelve years old. These are the ages at which diagnosis has been made and treatment begins, though it can be far younger.The findings have been very interesting.Study reports show that those that undertook acupuncture showed a greater improvement than those children who were patched for two hours a day.
After a course of therapy lasting fifteen weeks a rate of 41.5% was recorded as an improvement over just 17.6 % of the group who were patched alone. While the figures remained high, over twenty five weeks, they bridged a gap with thirty per cent of the patching group versus forty two of the acupuncture studies.