Amblyopia Treatment with Virtual Reality Technology

Amblyopia or otherwise known as Lazy Eye is seen among the children around the world at the rate of 2-3%.

Sight is a learnable skill. Starting from the infancy; the sight-learning process continues until the age 10, decreasingly. In the situation of one eye being comparatively weaker than the other, the brain sustains the learning process with the stronger eye. In the circumstances; the impaired eye is not able to complete the learning process. At early ages, this situation can be detected by the oculists’ inspection. Thusly, the procedure of the treatment can be started. It is significant for children who came to age 1 to have the visual inspection by the oculists. It is possible for one eye to be weaker than the other due to optical refraction impairments such as cataract, myopic/hypermetropia or myasthenia gravis. While cataract can be cured with operations, refraction impairment can be solved by glasses. In the situation of early diagnosis, the stronger eye is covered with a special eye pad and the weaker eye is supported to continue the learning process. In this specific procedure, by using the glasses provided by the doctor; learning process of the brain is enabled by vision reaching to the brain. Due to the fact that sight-learning speed decelerates with the age, curative effect of the eye closure treatment is higher in the early ages. This treatment can be ineffective because children may not want to use glasses or wear eye- pads. Particularly, after the age of 4; children do not want to wear glasses or eye pads because of their peers’ decisions. For the sight education, images that are countered in children’s daily lives are used. Although there are not any problems in the visual nerve or extraocular muscle, cross- eye situation can be seen in some of the amblyopia patients.

After the age of 10, eye closure treatment’s effect is almost non-existing. For the sight education, special images must be produced. With the technology of Virtual Reality, suitable visual stimulants are provided for this treatment and thus, the results are received in a shorter time when comparing to the results of the eye closure treatment for all day. Furthermore; because different images can be provided to both eyes, the treatment’s effective side is augmented. In this treatment, no drug utilization, surgical intervention or laser implementation is practised. Similar procedures like when children play games with the virtual reality glasses are implemented in the treatment. Before the age of 10, with the eye closure treatment; results can be received in children, however; there is not an effective solution to the same problem for the adults. Our aim is to find a solution for the adults, as well as the children. Because we develop the solution algorithms ourselves; by evaluating the person-specific options we are also practising our solution extension study. Since the eye closure treatment is named as monocular and realized by one eye; the sense of depth is not developed in the patients. In our system; which is binocular, which focuses on both eyes, sense of depth is developed in the patients, as well.

For the treatment, in the clinical study process, desktop computers with Oculus Rift and glasses like HTC Vive will be used. In each step of the treatment process, engineering technologies will be used; thereby detailed and sensitive calculations will be realized. In this way; treatment’s success will be under control. Our studies are in progress regarding the hardware and content suitable for the children, as well. For the children, in early ages, when the amblyopia is diagnosed, with the eye closure treatment rapid improvement can be achieved. For the children who do not want to implement eye closure treatment with the eye pads, you can use Vidi Glasses or Vidi Tablets. Vidi glasses and tablets provide more rapid improvement than the eye pads.

We develop our Project at “Yıldız Technopark- Kuluçka Merkezi”. We use the opportunities provided by the Yıldız Technical University’s Technopark where we work full-time. We are going to actualize our technical tests in the Yıldız Technopark laboratories.

The Project entitled to have TUBİTAK 1512 BIGG support.

We plan to operationalize our project after June 2019, at the hospitals, clinics and consulting rooms.

Our Wise Eye product’s web page is going to be launched soon.