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This invention presents a novel approach to effectively treat amblyopia by harnessing metaplasticity to promote recovery of vision. The method involves silencing activity in both retinas using a local anesthetic, in this case, tetrodotoxin. Tetrodotoxin can be delivered through intraocular injections. Upon the completion of treatment with the anesthetic, normal visual acuity quickly develops. Therefore, the inventors have demonstrated that a single binocular injection of the sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin, which silences the retinas for approximately 2-3 days, is sufficient to enable recovery from monocular deprivation in animals.