We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Researchers use Tetris to treat lazy eye, give patients an excuse to play a game

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal have turned to popular puzzler Tetris as a method to help treat adult amblyopia.

As it turns out, the falling blocks of Tetris can double as a treatment for adult amblyopia, otherwise known as "lazy eye." Researchers at the McGill University of Montreal are testing the 80s puzzler as an alternative to using more conventional treatments for the disorder.

Amblyopia is a condition where your vision is weakened in an eye that seems normal in just about every other way. It most often occurs in only one eye, and it can cause problems with depth perception, among other issues. To treat it, doctors will typically have patients put an eyepatch over their stronger eye, forcing them to use their weaker eye, thus making it stronger. This treatment method is somewhat effective in children, but it doesn't do much of anything to help adults.

With that in mind, the McGill research team turned to other options, exploring alternatives that may benefit adults who suffer from the vision disorder. And according to the research team, patients who played a specialized version of Tetris reportedly experienced a four-fold improvement in their lazy eye's vision when compared to just wearing a patch.

Patients wore special head-mounted video goggles that displayed a purpose-built version of the game in a "dichoptic" fashion. In other words, the lazy eye was presented with a higher-contrast version of the game, whereas the more dominant eye was presented with a lower-contrast version. This unique presentation method made it so both eyes would work together, in turn making the lazy eye stronger.

Ophthalmologist Dr. Robert Hess, who led the research, considers this therapeutic approach to be a "huge step in dealing with amblyopia," adding that eye training of this sort should become a standard treatment.

[McGill via CTV News]

Get more GeekTech: Twitter - Facebook - RSS | Tip us off

IDG UK Sites

Nexus 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comparison: What's the best Android phablet?

IDG UK Sites

The iPhone is doomed. Doomed to be marginally less successful than a very successful thing.

IDG UK Sites

How to prototype native mobile apps without writing code

IDG UK Sites

How to prepare for and update to OS X Yosemite: Get your Mac ready to download & install Apple's...