Ben Michaels is a six year old from England who has had amblyopia (lazy eye) since the age of four. If left untreated, he could permanently lose sight in his right eye. Ken Nischal prescribed an awesome therapy: cover the good eye with an eyepatch and play video games for two hours a day. He gets to be a pirate and play video games? Awesome. After several hours of Mario Kart DS, the vision in Ben’s bad eye has “improved 250%” according to his mom, Maxine.
Mr Nischal of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, said the therapy helped children with weak eyesight because computer games encourage repetitive eye movement, which trains the eye to focus correctly. ‘A games console is something children can relate to. It allows us to deliver treatment quicker,’ he said. ‘What we don’t know is whether improvement is solely because of improved compliance, ie the child sticks with the patch more, or whether there is a physiological improvement from perceptual visual learning.’ The consultant added that thousands of youngsters and adults could benefit from a similar treatment. [DailyMail via Kotaku]
You hear that, parents? Thousands of youngsters could benefit from a similar treatment. They didn’t say those youngsters had to have amblyopia, just that they could benefit. Eyepatches and Mario Kart for everybody! They’re right inside the van!