We all know that spending too much time squinting at screens can have a detrimental effect on our eyesight. But now there's an app that might actually be able to improve your vision.
While some things about your eyesight can't be changed without corrective lenses or surgery, there are things you can do to improve vision through simple exercises. The app, called UltimEyes, was created by a neuroscientist with the University of California and developed by a company called Carrot Neurotechnology. (Get it? Carrots are good for your eyes…) It's a "non-invasive interactive program designed specifically to improve vision by optimizing visual processing." In other words, a workout program for your eyeballs.
The program consists of four 25-minute sessions per week, for eight weeks. The sessions are designed to be fun and interactive games where users find and tap on hard-to-see dots on the screen.
In studies conducted by the University using baseball players as test subjects, the players who finished the training sessions reported an average 31 percent increase in eyesight, with some players reached 20/7.5 vision, which is significantly better than the "average" 20/20.
Here's a video detailing the baseball study:
The craziest part of all this is that the app isn't actually changing anything about the physical state of your eyes. What it's doing is rewiring your brain. With a technique called neuroplasticity, you can train your brain to better process the information it receives from your eyes – however blurry that information might be -- and become more adept at interpreting that data.
UltimEyes uses methods of perceptual learning combined with interactive gaming dynamics to improve visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and attention. By making the exercises both fun and challenging, like a well-designed video game, users are encouraged and keep making progress. Users can find the app "reversing the effects of aging eyes, reading without glasses, seeing better in dim light, or optimizing vision for competitive sports," the UltimEyes website says.
Currently only available for the iPad (for $5.99), there is also a desktop version for both Mac and PC. Android users, however, are out of luck.
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