Feature Writer Alena Roberts – Playing Video Games Can Help Improve Your Vision

As video games have become more complex, some might think that playing hours of video games are going to strain your eyes and make your vision worse. However, this is not what research has found, and Daphne Maurer of McMaster University has just discovered that it’s quite the opposite. For children with certain eye diseases, playing video games that have a lot of action actually helps to improve their eyesight.

The study worked with 6 adults who all had dense cataracts. Children who are born with this condition often have the cataracts removed, but they still grow up with poorer eyesight than normal children. The problem is that even though the cataract is removed, the cataract negatively effects the visual cortex development. This results in many years of retraining the visual cortex to get it to perform at normal levels.

Since there was already research looking at how playing video games would impact children with lazy eye, it was Maurer’s hope that it would also help those with dense cataracts as well. What she found was that playing the games for 40 hours a month allowed the patient to be able to read at least one line lower on the eye chart. They were also able to see objects with lower contrast and notice more subtle differences between objects that were moving.

The next step will be to do more clinical trials before doctors start “prescribing” video games. Dr. Maurer is currently working on designing a game that isn’t so violent, but still has enough action to improve their vision since she would prefer that children have non-violent games to choose from.

If you have dense cataracts or lazy eye, have you found playing video games improves your vision?

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9088262/Playing-video-games-improves-eyesight.html

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