Older Children Less Responsive to Treatment for Amblyopia

Children age 3 to less than 5 years suggested to be more treatment-responsive in severe amblyopia

TUESDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Children aged 7 to less than 13 years of age are significantly less responsive to treatment for moderate and severe amblyopia than younger children, according to a meta-analysis published online July 11 in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Jonathan M. Holmes, B.M., B.Ch., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues assessed whether age at initiation of treatment for amblyopia affects the response among children with unilateral amblyopia who have 20/40 to 20/400 amblyopic eye visual acuity. Data from four randomized amblyopia treatment trials were analyzed and adjusted for baseline amblyopic eye visual acuity, spherical equivalent refractive error in the amblyopic eye, type of amblyopia, previous amblyopia treatment, study treatment, and protocol. Children, aged 3 to less than 13 years, were categorized based on age.

The investigators found that children between aged 7 to less than 13 years were significantly less responsive to treatment for moderate and severe amblyopia than younger children. Treatment response for moderate amblyopia did not differ between children aged 3 to less than 5 years and aged 5 to less than 7 years, but for severe amblyopia, there was a trend toward greater responsiveness in children aged 3 to less than 5 years compared with children aged 5 to less than 7 years.

"Amblyopia is more responsive to treatment among children younger than 7 years of age. Although the average treatment response is smaller in children 7 to less than 13 years of age, some children show a marked response to treatment," the authors write.

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