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Lazy eye research seeks volunteers

Researchers at the University of Bradford are seeking volunteers for a study into the condition ‘amblyopia’ which is more commonly known as ‘lazy eye’.

A team led by Dr Brendan Barrett, Director of the Vision Science Research Group at the University, is looking for people to spare an hour to have their eyes examined using their new state-of-the-art Optical Coherence Tomographer.

The Tomographer, which costs over £50,000, is used to examine the structure of the eye in fine detail. The equipment provides high-magnification, 3D pictures of the eye in seconds, is completely painless and risk-free for the patient.

The research team consists of Dr Barrett and Dr Ian Pacey from the University of Bradford, and Alison Bruce who is Head of Orthoptics at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Barrett said: “We’re using this new equipment to carry out an exciting research project in people with amblyopia. Amblyopia is a fairly prevalent condition affecting around 1 in 25 children in the UK. The condition is sometimes referred to as ‘lazy eye’ because vision is reduced even with glasses or contact lenses, but the eye appears to be completely healthy.

“Treatment usually consists of wearing glasses and putting a patch over the good eye, but this treatment only succeeds in around two-thirds of cases. We’re interested in finding out why treatment doesn’t work in the remaining one-third of cases, and we think this new equipment might be able to provide the answer.

“If the research proves successful we should be able to tell in advance who will benefit most from treatment and, as a result, we may be able to spare some children from the trauma of wearing an eye patch for long periods of time when there is no visual benefit to be gained.”

The Vision Science Research Group is looking for volunteers of all ages for their lazy eye study. As well as people with lazy eye, volunteers with regular vision or with a turn (or squint) in one eye are sought. To volunteer, please contact Alison Bruce in the Department of Optometry at University of Bradford on 01274 234640 or e-mail:

Oliver Tipper | alfa
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