Some great news for anyone suffering from or who knows a sufferer of Lazy Eye or ‘Amblyopia’, as Tetris is here to save the day again, with the latest research showing much alleviated symptoms through controlled use of the much loved retro classic. Not only has it helped us pack cars with 10 times more than they should be able to hold but Tetris is also here to lend a hand with vision improvement as Dr Ben Thompson along with a team of scientists from McGill University have been busy conducting the worlds first Tetris experiments with the ultimate goal of generating enough funding to fine tune the treatment and start offering it to patients.
“Although amblyopia is often known as ‘lazy eye’ the impairment in vision is due to abnormal development within visual areas of the brain, not a defect of the eye,” says Dr Thompson.
The studies have shown that rather than traditional treatment in which sufferers wore an eye patch over the affected eye, patients are far better off using both eyes, with far higher intensity stimulation on the affected eye, which ultimately forces both eyes to work together. A game like Tetris requires both eyes to work together to distinguish the shapes needed to fit into the spaces below, thus sufferers of lazy eye whose primary affliction lies with the brain receiving different images from each eye in childhood have found much benefit through the treatment thus far. Patients who played for 1 hour a day over 10 days showed vast improvements that lasted up to 3 months.
Hopefully more funding will be provided and the team can fine tune the levels of intensity needed to successfully utilise Tetris as a tool for a structured treatment of visual impairments such as this.