As I write this story, it's 7 p.m. and my eyes feel heavy and dry. I've been staring at a computer screen for 10 hours straight, and I have to squint to concentrate on each letter I write. This might seem like a dull scene for those who don't have a desk job, but it's a reality for millions of workers.
Our reliance on screens has a huge impact on our eyesight, but according to The New York Times, scientists might have actually found a way to protect years of damage. It's a brain-training exercise that utilizes videos of "Gabor patches," blurry lines created by varying a gray background. "Gabor patches optimally stimulate the part of the brain responsible for vision," writes Austin Frakt, a health economist and associate professor at Boston University School of Medicine. "A great deal of the training involves trying to see Gabor patches placed between closely spaced, distracting flankers."
Repeat this training multiple times a week, and gradually, studies suggest, your vision improves. Given that every five years, the average adult over 30 loses the ability to see another line the chart at the doctor's office, that's a big win.
If you're keen to give it a try, Frakt recommends GlassesOff, one of the only science-backed brain-training apps. "The training with GlassesOff is long and challenging. I found it fun initially … but weeks into it, I began to dread the monotonous labor," he writes. "Yet, after a couple of months, the app reports I can read fonts nearly one third the size I could when I started and much more rapidly." According to the app, his vision is now the equivalent of a person 10 years his junior.
Have you tried GlassesOff? Tell us if your eyesight improved.