Those who have issues with their vision are used to the routines that require eyeglasses or contacts, visits to optometrists, and all that comes with that. It’s a fact of life. But what if there was a way beyond those routines that helped to improve aspects of your vision? There’s an iOS App that says it can do just that called Ultimeyes promising to turn back the clock on the vision degradation that comes was we age. Does it work? The jury is still out on that question, but the folks behind Ultimeyes offer a range of information to make their case.
Aaron Seitz, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Riverside is the creator of Ultimeyes and in a study published in Current Biology, he makes his case using a baseball team as his test subjects.
Researchers tested baseball players at the University of California in Riverside. During the 2013 NCAA Division 1 season, 19 members of the team were given 25-minute brain-training sessions four times a week with the App. The players who used UltimEyes reported significant improvements in seeing at a distance of 20 feet. Players reported seeing the ball better and greater peripheral vision.
The App’s process seeks to retrain your brain through perceptual learning. The science behind that is called neuroplasticy, or a way to exercise portions of your brain in the same way you exercise other parts of your body. The App presents you with a series of tests/games that show a series of fuzzy targets on a hazy gray background. You select the targets as they appear. At times they appear to fade in, at times they appear and fade out. You get an audio reward with a successful targeting.
Some skeptics say this is all hocus pocus, but some scientists say the science behind this is real. For those baseball players the results listed include leaps in visual acuity from 20/20 vision to 20/15, 20/10 and even 20/7.5. Overall, the researchers recorded an average of 31 percent improvement in binocular vision.
It is recommended that those wishing to try the App run the tests 25 minutes four times a week for eight weeks. According to the App description some users see improvement after three weeks of use. I’m going to give it a try and see what the results are once I can schedule an visit with my optometrist before I start. That will give me both an idea of any vision improvements that I may sense as well as what my optometrist sees.
Ultimeyes is an iOS App and available for $5.99 on the iTunes App Store. The description states up front that it should not be purchased by those using an original iPad or first generation iPad mini.