Exercise Those Aging Eyes!

As we get older, our eyes begin to deteriorate. It is a fact of life, even with the amazing advances in laser technology. But that doesn’t mean we have to simply sit idly by while the world around us fades into visual oblivion.

One of the most noticeable signs that our eyes are getting old is that we begin to have increasing trouble distinguishing gradations of light to dark. Simply put, we begin having trouble deciphering one object from another, especially at night or in situations where depth perception is required. Fancy-pants scientists call this ability to decipher objects contrast sensitivity. This time-induced problem is a major reason why men and women stop driving, or even stop going out after dark once they reach a certain age. And while this side effect of aging is impossible to completely avoid, it is possible to slow it down with a little exercise. 

New research suggests that simple contrast sensitivity can be improved with simple brain-training exercises. In a study published last month in Psychological Science, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, and Brown University showed that after just five sessions of behavioral exercises, the vision of 16 people in their 60s and 70s significantly improved.

After the training, the adults could make out edges far better. And when given a standard eye chart, a task that differed from the one they were trained on, they could correctly identify more letters.

According to an April New York Times post, “…the subjects watched 750 striped images that were rapidly presented on a computer screen with subtle changes in the visual “noise” surrounding them — like snow on a television. The viewer indicated whether the images were rotating clockwise or counterclockwise. The subject would hear a beep for every correct response.”

These exercises challenged the brain to make decisions about what is was seeing, thus “training” itself to focus on specific objects. The brief sessions gave participants about three months of improved vision. It proves that even an aging brain has the capacity to acquire new skill and improve itself! Its a lot like working out your muscles.

These exercises are still a part of an ongoing study, but researchers feel confident that their findings hold big promises for folks who want to fight back against Father Time. But, until these exercises are more widely accepted in the science community, let the professionals here at nJoy Vision help you improve your eyesight through advances in LASIK!


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