Amblyopic adults, similar to younger patients with the condition, struggle with functional issues such as slowed reading, attention and processing speed. Photo: Tamara Petrosyan, OD.

It’s been shown that amblyopic children have reduced performance on visual attention and search tasks, but do amblyopic adults struggle in the same way? In a recent study presented at the 2022 ARVO meeting in Denver, researchers assessed visual acuity, binocular vision, higher-order executive function (selective and divided attention) and functional ability (fine motor skills and reading speed) in participants with and without anisometropic amblyopia. Their findings showed that amblyopic adults do indeed also show reduced performance in various tasks.

Twenty adults with anisometropic amblyopia and 10 controls participated. Fine motor skills, reading speed and visual attention and processing speeds were assessed, as well as visuo-cognitive search proficiency. All participants performed these functional tasks binocularly.

Amblyopes exhibited slower reading performance and slower completion time on the Trail Making Tests compared with controls and also performed significantly poorer on the fine motor skills subitems, such as making dots in a circle, transferring pennies and sorting cards. They also showed reduced performance in visual attention and search.

The authors suggested these findings have important implications for understanding the impact of amblyopia on everyday function in adults.

Original abstract content © Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 2022.

Rakshit A, Schmid K, Webber A, et al. Investigation of visual functions in adult anisometropic amblyopia. ARVO 2022 annual meeting.