Shaw Lenses For Amblyopia -Without A Patch!
Our mission at Focus Eyecare is to empower our patients by providing the best in friendly, professional, and individualized eye care. For many of our patients this includes getting not only each eye to see as clearly as possible, but to get the eyes to work together as team as effortlessly as possible. For some patients, this requires Vision Therapy, but for others, it requires special lenses. Shaw lenses are designed specifically to make it easy for the eyes to work together.
Amblyopia: Ignoring conflicting signals from both eyes
When one eye is much blurrier than the other eye (due to different prescriptions), the brain begins to ignore the signals from the blurry eye. Over time, the brain may learn to ignore the blurry eye so often, the patient develops amblyopia, where a patient cannot see 20/20 out of that eye, even with corrective glasses.
Traditional treatment for refractive amblyopia includes traditional eyeglasses lenses and patching the “bad eye”. While this can be successful for some patients, many patients do not improve as expected. Patching CAN increase how much the brain uses the “bad eye”, but when a patient uses both eyes together, the glasses cause problems.
Furthermore, patching can be oftentimes uncomfortable socially and physically. In younger children, parents may have a hard time making sure the eye patch is not removed by the child.
Different Prescriptions in Each Eye: Problems with Image Size
Many patients require glasses to see clearly and to improve their visual skills. For some patients, this vision is clear, but the eyes do not work together. Here is why: People who wear glasses know that the lenses change the size of the images by enlarging them (magnifying) or making them smaller (minifying). This is not much of a problem if images from both eyes are magnified or minified the same amount, but it is very difficult for the brain to process images if they are different sizes. This condition is called aniseikonia.
In example on the left, the right eye has no prescription, but the left eye is very farsighted. Glasses are prescribed and image the left eye sees is magnified. When a patient reads the nursey rhyme on the left, their brain has to work to put together these different-size images of the words. In dealing with the images that the glasses make, the brain may try to adapt by fighting to focus all the time or by ignoring (suppressing) the left eye.
When using both eye together, the brain may not adapt well and instead reacts with symptoms such as headaches, reduced depth perception, vision distortion or other problems. Often in this case, patients will refuse to wear glasses for any length of time. If the patient doesn’t wear eyeglasses, their brain will continue to ignore the blurrier eye and amblyopia persists.
Equal Image Size Answer = SHAW Lenses
The solution to this image size problem is using lenses that make each image the same size. This can be accomplished with either contact lenses or Iseikonic eyeglass lenses. Shaw Lens is an amazing technological breakthrough in the design of eyeglass lenses!
Designing lenses that coordinate how both eyes work together is not an easy task. In the past, complex calculations were required, and the process was somewhat trial and error. But now the Shaw Lens system takes the information from the eye exam, measurements from the patient’s eyes, and information about the eyeglass frame, and calculates the ideal shape and thickness of the lenses in order to equalize the image sizes between the eyes. The manufacturing laboratory digitally creates the lenses in high definition. The SHAW lens process uses a patent-pending method to accurately model eye movements to produce the clearest vision in all areas of the lenses.
The patent-pending SHAW™ lens is a digital lens system that is the only truly binocular spectacle lens system. The exact effect on the vision system can be readily analyzed, and benefits of a SHAW design is graphically displayed before the lens is ordered, as seen below. You can learn more about this at http://shawlens.com/ .
The Results… Clear Vision without Patching!
When patients with refractive amblyopia wear Shaw Lenses, the results are dramatic! The research and our own experience has shown patients improve visual acuity (clarity of sight) with Shaw Lenses alone. For patients with more difficulty, the combination of Shaw Lenses and a Vision Therapy program has seen patients improve to 20/25 or 20/20! See our testimonials for successful cases!
Shaw Lenses is not the answer for all patients, so during a comprehensive eye exam or a consultation referred from another doctor, our doctors will give patients an idea of their best options for treatment. For amblyopic patients with too high a difference between the eyes or amblyopia caused by strabismus, we may offer other treatments including contact lenses and vision therapy.
Remember that amblyopia can often be successfully treated after age 7, with the right treatment! We have adults who have benefited from Shaw Lens treatment for amblyopia!
If you think that you would benefit from SHAW lens, call us or use this button to request an appointment.