Abstract (300 words)
Amblyopia is an eye condition developed during childhood in which visual acuity in an eye is reduced despite optimal refractive correction as a result of a reduction in visual experience. Amblyopia can be caused by visual deprivation due to conditions such as anisometropia, strabismus and congenital cataract. Current treatments involve forcing the brain to focus on the images of the worse eye such that vision in that eye becomes stronger over time. This is often achieved by reducing input to the entirety of the good eye’s image. Few studies have considered the binocular affordances provided by virtual reality (VR) headsets and the engaging qualities of electronic games as a method of treatment. To explore this opportunity, we introduce AmblyopiaVR, a VR-based treatment system for children with amblyopia. The system calibrates the VR view separately for each eye of a user and engages the user in casual play experiences to sustain prolonged exposure to improve the vision of the weak eye over time. The ability to alter specific aspects of the image will allow researchers to investigate driving factors in amblyopia treatment.