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Study Shows That Playing Videogames 40 Hours May Improve Blurred Vision in Adults with Amblyopia
Vision Source’s Dr. Mark Lee encourages patients affected with lazy eye to seek treatment from an eye-care professional.
By: Susan Stapleton
Amblyopia represents the most frequent cause of permanent one-eye visual impairment among young and middle-age adults. It affects about three out of every 100 American children. Although pediatric treatment options include occlusion therapy and the use of atropine drops to blur vision in the stronger eye, few treatments are currently available for adults.
While the experiment was developed to determine whether playing a video game could improve visual attention in patients with amblyopia, researchers also found that subjects saw a 37 percent improvement in spatial attention and a 16 percent increase in positional perception.
Anisometropic patients — those with two different states of near-sightedness — achieved a 54 percent improvement in three-dimensional depth perception, while some even regained normal stereoacuity, the ability to determine differences in distance, and were pronounced “cured” in that aspect of their vision.
The study, supported by the National Eye Institute, included men and women 15 to 61 years old and placed an eye patch over their good eye. Two groups used the amblyopic eye to play action video games such as “Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault” or a non-action game that required building something such as “SimCity Societies.” A third group received no therapy. Subjects played video games for 40 hours in a month in two-hour increments.
The results of the study found that subjects who played video games showed a 30 percent improvement in their vision. No visual improvement was found in subjects who did normal activities such as surfing the Internet, reading books or watching television, but the study did find that these patients saw an improvement in their vision when they later played video games for 40 hours in one month.
Subjects who played non-action games saw more vision improvements when they switched to an action game for an additional 40 hours.
Dr. Mark Lee of Vision Source West Sahara encourages parents to bring kids in as early as 8 months old for their first exam. Children who receive treatment for amblyopia before age 2 have a 99 percent chance of eliminating the disorder. “This new treatment gives older patients a chance to correct a disorder that may have been neglected at a young age,” says Dr. Lee.
While the treatment method is still in its infancy, Dr. Lee said patients with lazy eye should not try to self-treat their condition. “This new method of treating amblyopia may be promising, but patients should consult their eye doctor. Self-treatment could lead to double vision, reverse amblyopia, eye strain and headaches.”
Vision Source Las Vegas is located at 8937 W. Sahara Ave., Suite A; 702-254-3558
About Vision Source
Vision Source Las Vegas is a network of optometrists that provides patients with personal care and service while offering advanced medical technology and innovative products to promote eye health. Vision Source doctors are committed to continuing education, offering patients the most innovative procedures to detect and correct eye conditions. As a group, Vision Source is dedicated to educating the community through special events and programs about eye health issues and the importance of annual eye exams. Founded in 1991, the Vision Source network includes 2,000 offices and more than 4,000 doctors in all 50 states and in Canada. Vision Source Las Vegas, started in 2003, now includes 18 optometrists at 13 locations in the Las Vegas area. For more information about Vision Source, call 1-800-EYES-911 or visit www.visionsourcevegas.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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Vision Source Las Vegas is a network of board-certified optometrists that provides patients with personal care and service while offering advanced medical technology and innovative products to promote eye health. http://www.visionsourcevegas.com.
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Page Updated Last on: Oct 12, 2011