Eye to eye

The Oban Times - - Leisure - with John Wal­lace

At this time of re­flec­tion on the past year I have been think­ing about lec­tures I have at­tended and ar­ti­cles I have read in the past 12 months that pro­foundly changed my way of think­ing about pa­tient treat­ments. The area of big­gest change in think­ing has been in the treat­ment of “lazy eye” (prop­erly called am­bly­opia) and squint.

Many years ago No­bel Prize-win­ning re­search found the vi­sion area of the brain mainly con­sists of cells that need in­put from both eyes to func­tion prop­erly. For some rea­son in “lazy eye” there is a miss-match of in­for­ma­tion be­ing sent to the brain from our two eyes and “binoc­u­lar com­pe­ti­tion” de­vel­ops. Our brains don’t like this and to elim­i­nate the com­pe­ti­tion the brain sup­presses, or switches off, the in­for­ma­tion be­ing sent from one eye. This can be by al­low­ing one eye to turn in or out so this “squint­ing” eye is not see­ing the same as the other eye. It can also be by switch­ing off the con­nec­tions within the brain for in­for­ma­tion from one eye.

The rev­o­lu­tion

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