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WSJ: Can a phone App Improve Vision?

Finally – an app to train your eyes.  It won’t work for everyone, but it’s worth trying it out – you may improve your vision enough to read letters 1.6 smaller than previously read.  Works best for 40-60 crowd.

By LAURA JOHANNES
Updated Dec. 10, 2013 11:20 a.m. ET

The Ache: In presbyopia, the eye’s lens loses elasticity with age. The ability to focus on near objects deteriorates, resulting in the need for reading glasses.

The Claim: A 12-week, scientifically tested training program, newly available as aniPhone app, uses a technique called perceptual learning to reduce—or even eliminate—the need for reading glasses.

 

 

The GlassesOff app provides training meant to help reduce the need for reading glasses. Shown, an exercise to identify which way the E faces. GlassesOff

The Verdict: A 30-person study published in February 2012 in the journal Scientific Reports found that after trying the program—now on sale as an iPhone app calledGlassesOff GLSO -4.47% —participants on average could read letters 1.6 times smaller than they could previously. The program is much more likely to show improvement in adults 40 to 60 years old, scientists say.

The self-guided app, launched this week by GlassesOff Inc., starts with a vision test, followed by a personalized training program users employ three times a week for 12 to 15 minutes per session. In one test, users must decide whether an E is facing up, down, right or left. The test gets harder when the E becomes smaller or lower-contrast. At the end of the session, users receive a personalized assessment of how much the app is likely to help them in various tasks, such as reading an article.

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