New scanning technology for amblyopia in children

February 1, 2021
Lois Levine

A new scanning technology makes it easier to detect micro-strabismus and amblyopia.

Amblyopia, what is often called "lazy eye," is reduced vision in one eye, caused by abnormal visual development in early life. This weaker eye tends to "wander" inward or outward and both eyes do not appear to work together (hence the term "lazy"). It is usually a result of a visual experience early in one's life that changes the pathways between a thin layer of tissue (retina) at the back of the eye and the brain, with the weaker eye receiving fewer visual signals. Studies continue to show that early screenings for amblyopia result in better outcomes for the patient. The most well-known screening tool is photoscreening, where a camera or video system is used to photograph the eyes and red reflex, which are then anayzed to detect amblyogenic risk factors. Previously, due to inconsistent performance in young children and high cost, it was not widespread in its use.1

Recently, a portable new scanning technology, Rebion's blinq, might make this process a lot smoother. Blinq is the first FDA-cleared device designed specifically to detect amblyopia in children aged 2 to 8 years old. Blinq can detect a misalignment of the eye in even subtle strabismus. Within seconds of the screening, the blinq device calculates a binocularity score based on foveal alignment and then provides a "pass" or "refer" result to the clinician.

Blinq is manufactured by Canon Virginia and Rebion.

1. Doshi, NR; Rodriguez MLF. Amblyopia. American Family Physician. 75(3):361-367.