Monday, April 29, 2013

Tetris is an awesome game!

Could Tetris help treat Adult Amblyopia?

The mesmerizing falling blocks seen in the Tetris video game could be a helpful tool for treating adult amblyopia, according to a small study in Current Biology.

The study involved 18 adults with a history of amblyopia. Half of the participants in the study played Tetris with their stronger eye patched. The other half had special goggles in place during their Tetris games. The goggles allowed the participants to see the falling blocks with their weaker eye, and the ground plane objects with their stronger eye.

The participants who wore the goggles fared better than the ones who patched their stronger eye. There was a statistically significant difference in vision improvement of the lazy eye and depth perception in the participants who were using the goggles. The researchers concluded that forcing the eyes to work together was more beneficial than patching, although both groups showed some improvement in the vision of their lazy eye.

Computers and video games have often been used as aids during vision therapy. Making the eyes work together through use of special video games is one treatment for children and adults with amblyopia.


“Dichoptic training enables the adult amblyopic brain to learn.” Current Biology, Volume 23, Issue 8, 22 April 2013, Pages R308-R309.

Jinrong Li, Benjamin Thompson, Daming Deng, Lily Y.L. Chan, Minbin Yu, Robert F. Hess

“Tetris may help adults with lazy eye, study finds.” From Huffington Post Online, April 23, 2013.

Cataracts can be "Stellar"

Hello friends,

I'm on something called the Optometry Advisory Board for my company (fancy title for getting to help out by acting as a bridge between the company optometrists and our management people), and one of my responsibilities is to contribute to our optometry newsletter.  Mostly I write about interesting eye-related things in the news, so that's what the next couple of articles are going to be about.  Hope you enjoy!

This first one's about a guy with a cool-looking cataract :):

Have you ever seen a patient with stars in their eyes? Check out the photo of an Austrian man who was punched in the eye, causing a star-shaped cataract. As reported in the New England Journal of medicine, the 55-year-old man noticed worsening vision over a six-month period. Upon examination, the patient was found to have lens opacification in the shape of a star. The patient was punched in the affected eye nine months earlier.

Most often, cataracts like these are caused by being punched or hit by a ball during a sporting activity. Injuries from air bags or steering wheels can also cause a similar appearance. Very rarely, infrared energy or electric shock can cause a stellate cataract.

In many cases, the cataract looks like a cloud, but sometimes a distinct star pattern is formed.

Four times more males than females experience ocular trauma, and the average age for occurrence of ocular trauma is 28.

As optometrists, we should always stress the importance of proper eye protection to our patients.

SPECIAL NOTE TO MY OPTIMIST OPTOMETRIST FANS:  The moral of this story is that even something bad (being punched in the eye, in this case) can lead to something beautiful (that was a pretty nice looking cataract, right?).  Hope you all have a wonderful day!!!


1., “Traumatic Cataract Clinical Presentation”:

Robert H Graham, MD Consultant, Department of Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona

2. “Punch Leaves Man With Star-Shaped Cataract,”By Karen Rowan, MyHealthNewsDaily Managing Editor – Wed, Apr 3, 2013

Photo from New England Journal of Medicine, April 2013