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Colobomas and Amblyopia

Philip Lempert, MD
Arch Ophthalmol. 2011;129(11):1505-1506. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.324.
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In their recent report on colobomas, Nakamura et al state that 33% of their subjects had amblyopia and that amblyopia management is the recommended treatment.1 Definitions of amblyopia are consistent in requiring that the visual defect is not caused by anatomic defects. The Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group definition is unambiguous: “Amblyopia is reduced best corrected visual acuity in one or both eyes caused by abnormal visual experience during visual development.”2(p143) Other authoritative definitions confirm this basic concept: “Amblyopia is a partial or complete loss of eyesight that is not caused by abnormalities in the eye.”3 “The term amblyopia, is generally used in a restricted sense to denote reduced vision in an eye in the absence of any ophthalmoscopically detectable retinal anomaly or any disorder in the afferent visual pathways which might cause the defect.”4 Amblyopia is defined as “a decrease of visual acuity in one or both eyes that on physical examination appear normal.”5(p1704) “Amblyopia has been defined as the impairment of vision without detectable organic lesions of the eye.”6(p1)

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November 1, 2011
Brian G. Mohney, MD; Kelly M. Nakamura, BS
Arch Ophthalmol. 2011;129(11):1505-1506. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.325.
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