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This Virtual Reality Game Could Help Treat Lazy Eye

1 minute read

“People who have vision impairment are always wondering what it is they’re missing, how much their vision is kind of holding them back,” says James Blaha, 28.

Blaha has lived with amblyopia and strabismus, also known as lazy eye and crossed eyes, for most of his life, and that’s what prompted him to found Vivid Vision, a virtual-reality vision therapy game company. The games are played using Oculus Rift and send specific images to each eye in an effort to train the lazy or crossed eye to work harder.

“We’ll take specific objects in the virtual space and render them a lot brighter to the weak eye, and a lot dimmer to the strong eye,” Blaha explains. “At a certain threshold, the brain kind of says, ‘OK, there’s something unique going on in this eye that I have to pay attention to,’ and it turns it back on.”

The results of an ongoing study using the technology, led by Dr. Marc Levin, A neuro-ophthalmologist at the University of California, San Francisco, are expected to be released by the end of 2016.

Video produced by Granny Cart Productions

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Write to Diane Tsai at diane.tsai@time.com