Vivid Vision is a revolutionary virtual reality system that allows adults to have normal 3D vision and treats children with amblyopia, more commonly known as lazy eye. Several studies in Europe and North America have shown the treatment to be effective.
We became the first clinic in British Columbia and the second one in Canada to offer this option to patients, in February of 2016. Six months of VR-based vision training and several success stories later, Dr. Henry Reis is positive that this is an invaluable tool in the assessment and management of binocular vision disorders.
Amblyopia (commonly known as lazy eye) affects up to 4 percent of the general population. Treatment usually involves patching the dominant eye in attempts to improve the vision in the weaker eye. Patching therapy is often only partially effective. It is more effective during the critical period of visual development prior to the age of approximately 8 years when the visual system demonstrates greater properties of neuroplasticity. Patching is typically not effective in adults.
In 2013, researchers from McGill University published findings in Current Biology showing a fourfold improvement in the lazy eye of adults that played a modified version of a Tetris video game that was viewed with both eyes compared to those that played the same game with the dominant eye patched. In the former scenario, the researchers used a head-mounted device to show participants a high contrast image in the weaker eye, and a lower contrast image in the dominant eye. Since both eyes needed to be used simultaneously in order to play the game, the weaker eye was encouraged to “work” alongside the dominant eye rather than suppress. The researchers concluded that training the visual system with both eyes seemed to increase the neuroplasticity of the visual system in adults and that was not the case with patching therapy.
Drs Henry Reis and Cindy Ho are carefully monitoring their patients’ treatment outcomes with this new technology and results from US clinics have been very promising. The instrument allows the doctors to adjust the images seen by the dominant and lazy, depending on the severity of the lazy at the onset of treatment and as vision improves in the lazy eye. Additional modifications to compensate for eye misalignments can also be made to optimize performance. By allowing the brain to be better able to integrate visual information from the two eyes, coordination and depth perception can be strengthened. The apparatus also utilizes a hand-motion detection sensor with the virtual-reality display that allows patients to make simple hand gestures when responding to the visual stimulus during various computerized exercises.
Book your appointment and experience the groundbreaking system that is changing the way our patients see the world.