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Computer Vision Syndrome: Children and Teens
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is defined as the complex of eye, vision and body problems associated with excessive computer use. Most parents are rightly concerned about the types of people or subject matter that their children and teenagers mi.... Read More

Dry Eye Symptoms: Causes and Treatments
As discussed in the Introduction article, there are three main areas that contribute to dry eye symptoms: Inadequate tear production Tears that evaporate too quickly from the ocular surfaces Imbalance between the three main components of normal .... Read More

Dry Eye Symptoms: Introduction
There are multiple causes behind the symptoms, so finding the specific cause and the best treatment is not as straightforward as it may seem. Also, the term “dry eyes” may actually be one symptom of other conditions, such as.... Read More

Dry Eye Symptoms: Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the term used for a family of eyelid margin disorders that cause symptoms such as redness, swelling, itching or burning, dryness, crusty lid margins, grittiness, and even the eventual loss of eyelashes. MGD is.... Read More

What's Your Vision "Eye-Q?"
According to a survey done by the American Optometric Association, the first American Eye-Q ™ parents lack important knowledge about eye health and vision care for their children and themselves. Want to see how you do against the original part.... Read More


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Video Games Improve Vision by 20%

In essence playing video game improves your bottom line on a standard eye chart Video games that contain high levels of action such as Unreal Tournament can actually improve your vision. Video games that contain high levels of action such as Unreal Tournament can actually improve your vision. Researchers at the University of Rochester have shown that people who played action video games for a few hours a day over the course of a month improved by about 20 percent in their ability to identify letters presented in clutter - a visual acuity test similar to ones used in regular ophthalmology clinics.

In essence playing video game improves your bottom line on a standard eye chart. "Action video game play changes the way our brains process visual information " says Daphne Bavelier professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. "After just 30 hours players showed a substantial increase in the spatial resolution of their vision meaning they could see figures like those on an eye chart more clearly even when other symbols crowded in." Bavelier and graduate student Shawn Green tested college students who had played few if any video games in the last year. "That alone was pretty tough " says Green. "Nearly everybody on a campus plays video games."

At the outset the students were given a crowding test which measured how well they could discern the orientation of a "T" within a crowd of other distracting symbols - a sort of electronic eye chart. Students were then divided into two groups. The experimental group played Unreal Tournament a first-person shoot- em-up action game for roughly an hour a day. The control group played Tetris a game equally demanding in terms of motor control but visually less complex. After about a month of near-daily gaming the Tetris players showed no improvement on the test but the Unreal Tournament players could tell which way the "T" was pointing much more easily than they had just a month earlier. "When people play action games they re changing the brain s pathway responsible for visual processing " says Bavelier. "These games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it. That learning carries over into other activities and possibly everyday life."

The improvement was seen both in the part of the visual field where video game players typically play but also beyond - the part of your vision beyond the monitor. The students vision improved in the center and at the periphery where they had not been "trained." That suggests that people with visual deficits such as amblyopic patients may also be able to gain an increase in their visual acuity with special rehabilitation software that reproduces an action game s need to identify objects very quickly. The team is now delving into how the brain responds to other visual stimuli. They plan to use what would be a video gamer s dream: a new 360-degree virtual-reality computer lab now being completed at the University of Rochester. This research appears next week in the journal Psychological Science and was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health.