Many people believe that computer games can be detrimental to your vision, but surprisingly the addictive puzzle game Tetris can help to improve Amblyopia, commonly known as 'Lazy Eye'.
Amblyopia occurs when the nerves that connect one of the eyes to the brain develop incorrectly as a child. As a result, blurry or wrong images are sent to the brain, which causes the brain to ignore these signals, favouring the other eye. Patients then tend to use the stronger eye more and more, suppressing and weakening one eye also causing problems with depth perception.
Traditionally 'Lazy Eye' is treated during childhood with patching techniques, covering the strong eye in order to make the weaker, suppressed eye work harder. Researchers have now found a new therapeutic approach that can also help adults. By using Tetris patients take part in dichoptic training (both eyes working together), using a specialised headset where one eye focuses on the falling shapes, and the other on the ground plane objects.
After just two weeks, patients showed a dramatic improvement in the vision in the weaker eye and depth perception was also improved. A similar group who played using the traditional patching method only saw a moderate improvement.
When the weaker eye has to work harder it is as if the brain becomes more aware of the lazy eye, dormant cells reawaken, become activated and regenerated.
So, is the statement: Tetris improves vision correct? Well, not only does your vision improve, but you get to have much more fun helping it!