Augmented-Reality Technology Could Help Treat Lazy Eye

A special type of the augmented-reality technology.

Augmented-Reality Technology Could Help Treat Lazy Eye
Image: Getty Images

Lazy eye, the condition when signals between the brain and one eye go awry, and thus input from the other eye can become predominant. The condition is also known as Amblyopia.

It is common and typically treated by forcing the less dominant eye to adapt, either through lab-based training or wearing an eyepatch.

A new research published in the Association for Psychological Science suggests that people may be able to use wearable augmented-reality technology to reduce this visual discrepancy as they go about everyday activities.

Lead researcher Min Bao of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said, “With this altered-reality system, participants interact with the natural world that is changed through real-time image processing. The system delivers altered but complementary video to each eye in real time, forcing participants to make use of the visual inputs to both eyes cooperatively.”

This altered reality system can be considered as an uncommon kind of the increased reality innovation, in which a few parts of the scene are changed before the video is conveyed to the eyewitness. However, no unnatural and nonexistent protest is superimposed.

It also manipulates the visual world electronically and thus incorporates training into everyday life.

Scientists recruited 10 adult participants who showed a significant interocular imbalance. During a 5-day adaptation stage, the participants had a daily 3-hour training session, in which they wore an augmented-reality headset that showed them a slightly altered version.

During experiments, participants were forced to weight the input from each eye equally to be able to process and perceive the complete scene. When they completed the training session, they engaged in typical everyday activities, such as watching movies, playing video games, eating, and walking.

To gage change in visual strength after some time, the specialists had members finish a binocular-competition undertaking before the adjustment stage, toward the start of each instructional course in the adjustment stage, and at follow-up sessions 24 hours, 2 days, 3 days, 1 week, 3 weeks, 2 months, and 4 months after the last instructional course.

In every trial of the assignment, the members saw two pictures all the while, one displayed to each eye. Each picture highlighted a striped grinding design, with the example in one picture situated in an alternate course from the example in the other picture. In the wake of seeing the pictures, members squeezed a key to show the heading of the example they saw.

At the point when diverse pictures are exhibited to each eye, individuals have a tendency to see the pictures as exchanging forward and backward and they ordinarily report seeing the picture introduced to their overwhelming eye a more prominent extent of the time. Therefore, the assignment ought to uncover any adjustments in visual strength after some time.

Scientists found that the stimuli shown to the stronger eye became less dominant over time. Moreover, it effectively increases participants’ interocular balance.

In another experiment, 18 participants who were actually diagnosed with amblyopia participated in a similar training procedure. Again, they showed improvement throughout the training phase and in the weeks that followed. On average, their improvement in visual acuity was equivalent to being able to read an additional 1.5 lines down on the standard logMAR eye chart.

During this, scientists found that the weaker eye showed improvement in various functions.

Scientists believe that their new findings could have important implications for work in a variety of domains, including clinical ophthalmology, neuroscience, engineering, and product development.