Playing Video Games May Fix Lazy Eye in Older Children

November 7, 2011

The prevailing wisdom has been that if amblyopia, also called “lazy eye,” is not diagnosed and corrected before a child reaches school age, it is difficult or impossible to correct.

But a new study conducted in an eye clinic in India found that lazy eye can be corrected in older children, between ages 10 to 18, if they stick to a regimen that includes playing video games with their weaker eye along with standard amblyopia treatment.

At the 115th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, lead researcher Dr. Somen Ghosh reported on a novel approach that allowed about a third of his study participants between ages 10 and 18 years old to make substantial vision gains, with the most significant gains seen in children who participated in the treatment group that completed daily video game practice.

Briefly, students in all treatment groups followed a basic treatment plan that required them to wear eyeglasses that blocked the stronger eye for at least two hours a day, during which time they practiced exercises using the weaker eye. The group with the most significant gains played at least one hour of video games daily using only the weaker eye.

One 16 year old with serious amblyopia that had impacted his school work and who had been told it was too late to correct his vision, after completing Dr. Ghosh’s regimen reported that his vision had improved to the point where he no longer had trouble studying or taking exams, and could once again play tennis.

Click here to read the press release issued by the American Academy of Ophthalmology describing the Indian study.




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