You read that right. Montreal’s McGill University recently completed a study that showed that adults with amblyopia (lazy eye) benefited from playing Tetris. The people at your nearby Austin vision center want you to be aware, however, that this was a version of the game specifically designed to be used in vision therapy.
The game was designed so that the falling blocks were only seen by one eye while the stationary blocks were seen by the other. This was done so the adults playing the game had to use both eyes in order to succeed at the game. Eighteen adults were involved in the study and they were each tasked with playing the game for an hour a day for two weeks. The people involved in the study saw increases in their visual acuity, proving that playing the game was effective in training their brain to use signals and images from both eyes to work together.
People seeking vision care in Austin for a lazy eye are regularly told that the best way to address the problem is not simply to treat the lazy eye, but to retrain the brain. Using special glasses with different colored lenses has also worked on other classic arcade games. For example, Pac-Man has been used to treat ambylopia. With Pac-Man, patients were given glasses with a red and blue lens so one eye only sees the maze while the other maneuvers Pac-Man himself.
This doesn’t mean that people with a lazy eye should spend hours playing video games. It simply means that there are some fun ways of treating the problem that are being uncovered every day. The American Academy of Optometry recommends consulting an optometrist or visual therapist prior to beginning any correction regimen. Of course, it might be easier to convince your kids to visit the optometrist for pediatric eye care if there is a possibility of playing video games as part of therapy.
If you have any further questions regarding ambylopia, vision therapy, or would like to set up an appointment or consultation at Austin Vision Therapy Center, call (512) 331-7288.