Playing Tetris Can Cure “Lazy Eye”

Canadian doctors have found an interesting way to treat ‘lazy eye’ – playing Tetris…

By playing the popular game, the patients could exercise both eyes simultaneously.
The study conducted on 18 people showed that Tetris is a better therapy than the one that was previously used – putting patches on a better eye to make the sick eye function better. Doctors are now interested in whether Tetris can act in young children too.
One in 50 children has a lazy eye or in medical terms, amblyopia. It appears when vision in one eye does not develop enough, and children with amblyopia also suffer from strabismus. If left untreated it can lead to permanent loss of vision in the weak eye and therefore physicians should intervene as soon as possible. Treatment of the disease has so far meant covering one eye to force the person to use the weak eye more. The patient has to wear a bandage most of the day for a few months, and it can be frustrating.

The doctors decided to check whether another approach would work – nine children had to wear special video glasses an hour a day while they played Tetris for two weeks. The glasses were made in a way that the children saw with one eye the falling blocks, and with the other eye the stacked blocks at the bottom. For other nine children, healthy eye was completely covered. After two weeks, it was shown that children who used both eyes were more advanced than the other group who had one eye covered. Scientists then gave the second group glasses which made them use both eyes and observed a progress with them too, the BBC reports.
Scientists believe that Tetris is a good alternative to wearing bandage on the eye, especially for adults who do not respond to the bandages. Also, they think that other computer games would have the same effect, and not just Tetris. “When both of your eyes are working, vision improves. Tetris is a lot better than bandages – it is more comfortable and works faster, “said the lead author of the study, Robert Hess.

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