Laboratory Study

Eye (2006) 20, 370–374. doi:10.1038/sj.eye.6701882; published online 15 April 2005

Modified virtual reality technology for treatment of amblyopia

R M Eastgate1, G D Griffiths1, P E Waddingham1,2, A D Moody1, T K H Butler2, S V Cobb1, I F Comaish2, S M Haworth2, R M Gregson2, I M Ash2 and S M Brown2

  1. 1Virtual Reality Applications Research Team (VIRART), University of Nottingham, School of 4M, University Park, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Directorate of Ophthalmology, 'A' Floor, Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Centre, Queen's Medical Centre, Derby Road, Nottingham, UK

Correspondence: RM Eastgate, VIRART, University of Nottingham, School of 4M, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK. Tel: +44 0 115 951 4042; Fax: +44 0 115 846 6771; E-mail:

Received 15 November 2004; Accepted 22 February 2005; Published online 15 April 2005.





The conventional patching/occlusion treatment for amblyopia sometimes gives disappointing results for a number of reasons: it is unpopular, prolonged, frequently resulting in poor or noncompliance, and also disrupts fusion. The aim of this research was to develop a novel virtual-reality (VR)-based display system that facilitates the treatment of amblyopia with both eyes stimulated simultaneously.



We have adopted a multidisciplinary approach, combining VR expertise with a team of ophthalmologists and orthoptists to develop the Interactive Binocular Treatment (I-BiT™) system. This system incorporates adapted VR technology and specially written software providing interactive 2D and 3D games and videos to the patient via a stereo (binocular) display, and a control screen for the clinician.



We developed a prototype research system designed for treatment of amblyopia in children.



The result is a novel way to treat amblyopia, which allows binocular treatment. It is interactive, and as it is partially software based, can be adapted to suit the age/ability, and needs of the patient. This means that the treatment can be made captivating and enjoyable. Further research is on-going to determine the efficacy of this new modality in the treatment of amblyopia.


amblyopia, virtual reality (VR), children



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