Canadian doctors believe playing Tetris, is the new way to treat lazy eye, according to BBC News.
The study, done by a team at McGill University in Montreal, found that the playing the puzzle game could force both eyes to work together. The study, which was conducted on 18 adults, found this method of treatment was more effective than the conventional treatment of putting an eye patch over the stronger eye.
The disorder is known to be the most common cause of visual impairment in childhood, affecting up to 3 percent of the entire United States population. It is also instrumental in causing poor processing in the brain, resulting in the suppression of the weaker eye by the stronger eye.
The researchers' next move is to test it on children.
Studies have already begun in the United Kingdom where 10-year old Calum Stillie has already started to feel a difference in his eyesight.
"I realized that I wasn't falling over as much," he said in the BBC News Article from April 4. "I could also read things much easier on the board at school."
The Canadian researchers used a pair of pair of special video goggles to help analyze the participants' eyes.
The first nine participants were given the goggles, told to play the game, and had no eyes covered. Dr. Robert Hess and his colleagues analyzed the data over a period of two weeks. The objective was to allow both eyes to work together to beat the game. One eye was only allowed to see the block as they accumulated on the bottom and ther other was allowed to see the blocks as they fell.
The other nine participants were told to do the same. However, they were to play the game with a patch over the stronger eye. At the end of the two weeks, the group without the patch showed a more substantial amount of healing, as opposed to the patch-wearing group.
After two weeks the group asked to wear the patches were given a chance to use the method their counterparts used. Their sight also improved significantly.
"The key to improving vision for adults, who currently have no other treatment options, was to set up conditions that would enable the two eyes to cooperate for the first time in a given task," Dr. Robert Hess, senior author of the paper and Director of Research Department of Ophthalmology at the RI-MUHC and at McGill University, said.
"When we get the two eyes working together, we find the vision improves," said Hess. "It's much better than patching, much more enjoyable, it's faster and it seems to work better."
According to doctors, lazy eye, medically termed ambiyopia, is a two-eye problem, and patching one eye just gets in the way of truly fixing it.
Dr. Hess points out the human brain is known to have a good amount of plasticity which provides the basis for treating a range of conditions where vision has been lost as a result of a disrupted period of early visual development in childhood.
The study was published in Current Biology.
*This story has been updated for corrections.