Does This New App to Improve Vision Actually Work?

Researchers say yes.



Are you squinting to read this text because, thanks to hours spent staring at a computer screen, your vision is totally shot? Well, not to worry: There’s an app for that. According to The Atlantic, the new app UltimEyes, created by neuroscientist Aaron Seitz, could improve vision and reverse the effect of aging eyes. Say whaaat?

Here’s how it works: The game-based app trains the brain cortex, whose job is to take blurry images seen by the eyes and put them all together into one cohesive image. Or, as The Atlantic described it, “The part that takes blurry puzzle pieces from the eyes and arranges them into a sweet puzzle.” Users participate in four 25-minute sessions using the app each week, for a total of eight weeks.

While the app is touted as “fun and rewarding,” improving your vision is no walk in the park. Working your eyes is similar to working out any other area of the body: It’s tiring. Because the eyes are working in ways that they aren’t used to, users experience a tired-eyes effect after their first few UltimEyes sessions.

But that tired-eyes thing is totally worth it, because it looks like this app really does work. Seitz tested the vision-training game on the University of California Riverside baseball team, and the results are pretty convincing. Half of the team trained for 30 sessions while the other half did no visual training at all. In the end, players who participated in the training experienced a whopping 31 percent improvement in visual activity.

Researchers say, “We suggest that this approach has a great potential to aid many individuals that rely on vision, including not only athletes looking to optimize their visual skills, but also individuals with low vision engaged in everyday tasks.” Sign me and my squinty eyes up, please.

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