A six-year-old boy has been given a slightly unusual prescription to treat a lazy eye.
Ben Michaels had been referred to hospital after his school nurse noticed the problem with his sight. But rather than just patch his eye, Ken Nischal, ophthalmic surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital, recommended he play a Nintendo DS or Gameboy for two hours a day. After a week the sight in his weak eye improved by 250%. Ben’s mother, Maxine Michaels, said: “When he started he could not identify our faces with his weak eye. “Now he can read with it although he is still a way off where he ought to be. He was very co-operative with the patch, it had phenomenal effect and we’re very pleased.”
Ben, from Billericay in Essex, is one of 60 children taking part in a pioneering programme at the London clinic.
“There is scientific proof that if you patch the good eye and make the lazy eye do a repetitive task on a first order letter, small and with relatively low contrast, and you give feedback, then there is evidence that the improvement in vision is better, quicker and more long lasting than patching alone,” said Consultant ophthalmic surgeon Mr Nischal.
“I then deduced that a game such as Nintendo or Gameboy would reproduce a similar effect, in that it involves concentrating on small figures, in a repetitive task, which gives positive feedback to the child.
“This childâ€™s vision has dramatically improved and given previous attempts at patching were unsuccessful, the outcome is quite striking.”
Via Sky News