Vision Health

Goodbye to Reading Glasses?

A new finding by researchers could help improve vision for adults who are lost without their reading glasses.

Middle-aged people who suddenly need reading glasses, patients with traumatic brain injuries, and people with visual disorders such as "lazy eye" likely have one thing in common — "visual crowding." That’s the inability to recognize individual items surrounded by multiple objects.

This problem makes it impossible to read, because single letters within words are illegible. And basic cognitive functions such as facial recognition can also be significantly hampered.

Scientists and clinicians have attributed crowding to a disorder in peripheral vision. But researchers from Tel Aviv University's Goldschleger Eye Research Institute have discovered new evidence that correlates crowding in the fovea — a small part of the retina responsible for sharp vision — and the brain's processing speed.

These findings, published in Nature's Scientific Reports, could offer another explanation for visual crowding. And for many adults lost without their reading glasses, this could improve their vision significantly via training to reduce “foveal crowding.”

The researchers said that training adults allowed them to eliminate their use of reading glasses, using a technology provided by the GlassesOff company. Other patients who had lost sharp vision for whatever reason were also able to benefit from the same training and improve their processing speed and visual capabilities," said Prof. Uri Polat.


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