Apps To Train Your Eyes
On this blog, we often discuss the negative effects of our increased use of smartphones, tablets and computers. Today we are discussing a positive way to use smartphones and tablets to help train your eyes to improve your vision. Is it possible? Which apps are out there? What do they actually accomplish? Below are two apps we have found that can help improve vision. It is important to note that while these apps can help train your brain to better process images, they cannot correct the optics of your eyes - meaning if you have corrective prescription glasses or contacts you will still need to wear them to see. These apps can help improve upon your existing vision. App #1: Glasses Off
What does it do? Glasses Off claims to help users experiencing normal age-related vision loss train their eyes to read without using reading glasses.
How does it work? From the Glasses Of website, "Our vision is limited by the quality of images captured by our eyes and the image processing abilities of our brain. For people who experience the natural age-related changes in reading abilities, GlassesOff is designed to exercise the visual cortex of the brain to achieve comfortable reading without the use of magnifying devices, such as reading glasses."
Does it work? Glasses Off technology was successfully scientifically tested, most recently at the University of California Berkeley. Their research was published in leading scientific journals, includingNature, Vision Research, PNAS, and more. According to Glasses Off, they expect that most users who follow the app protocol closely will experience an improvement in vision, here's a quote from the company regarding efficacy, "The vast majority of users who were found suitable for the program and closely follow its protocol will be able to exercise the visual cortex of the brain to achieve comfortable reading without the use of glasses most of the time (e.g. for reading short text, menus, the time, etc.) but may require glasses when reading lengthy and small text or when in a dark environment.
App #2: UltimEyes
What does it do? UltimEyes claims to improve your vision by training your brain through games. From The Atlantic, "UltimEyes is a game-based app that's sold as "fun and rewarding" as it improves your vision and "reverse[s] the effects of aging eyes." It doesn't claim to work on the eyes themselves, but on the brain cortex that processes vision—the part that takes blurry puzzle pieces from the eyes and arranges them into a sweet puzzle."
Does it work? There has been significant evidence that it successfully improves vision, in some baseball players, their vision was improved to 20/7.5. Here is a quote from a recent article in The Atlantic, "This week the peer-reviewd journal Current Biology published the results of those trials. Players who participated in the training enjoyed a 31 percent improvement in visual acuity. Seven players actually got down to 20/7.5 vision—they could read a line from 20 feet away that a normal person can only read from 7.5 feet away—which is very rare."
*Important Note: While these apps certainly help train your brain, they DO NOT correct the optics of your eyes. Thus your vision will be best with optical corrections (glasses, contacts, LASIK, etc) combined with brain training.