Children’s Lazy Eye Treated Better By Ubisoft iPad Game ‘Dig Rush’ Than A Patch

By Olivia Reese, Parent Herald November 14, 04:00 am
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An iPad game was praised for treating children's lazy eye or amblyopia. The specially designed iPad game called "Dig Rush" from Ubisoft improves kids' vision in less than a month than an eye patch.

A study, which was conducted by researchers from the non-profit eye research institute Retina Foundation of the Southwest in Dallas, Texas, found that children with lazy eye who played the iPad game had improved visions after just two weeks, Live Science reported. The same benefits weren't found in children who used the standard lazy eye treatment, which constitutes wearing a patch over his/her good eye.

A lazy eye or amblyopia happens when a child's vision in one eye doesn't develop properly, according to the NHS. Kids with lazy eye have trouble seeing clearly out of the affected eye so they depend on their "good" eye's vision. Sometimes amblyopia affects both eyes, though that case is rare.

Children with lazy eye are usually diagnosed around four years old. Lazy eye affects three percent of kids worldwide and if left untreated, can lead to blindness in adulthood, Ubisoft.com noted.

The researchers said that lazy eye treatments where children use both eyes such as "Dig Rush" are more promising. They found that such treatments "may yield faster gains than patching."

The standard eye patch treatment stimulates children's lazy eye and while kids can have better vision thanks to the patch, it doesn't always generate positive results. At times, the children's lazy eye comes back.

"Dig Rush" is played by controlling gold miners as they put pieces of gold to a cart. The characters must be fast in their goal while dodging obstacles like monsters.

Children with lazy eye must wear special glasses as they play "Dig Rush" for an hour and five days per week for two weeks. The better eye sees some parts of the iPad game (the gold cart, for instance) in low contrast and the lazy eye views the gold miners in higher contrast. Both of the kids' eyes see the background in high contrast.

After two weeks, children who played "Dig Rush" were capable of reading an average of 1.5 more lines on a letter chart than kids who received the eye patch treatment for two hours per day and seven days a week for two weeks. Those in the eye patch treatment could only read 0.7 more lines on the letter chart.

With the iPad game, around 40 percent of the children with lazy eye have 20/32 vision or better, which is an almost normal vision. Only seven percent of the kids in the eye patch treatment got the same results. Learn more about "Dig Rush" below.

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