ADD / ADHD, Dyslexia, Visual

Exercise Your Eyes: First Impressions

Visual problems are heavily linked to learning difficulties such as dyslexia or ADHD. The problems are not with visual acuity, the traditional 20/20 eye tests, but with issues such as tracking or co-ordinating both eyes to look at the same point. Children with learning problems often have poor motor control so it is reasonable that a child who lacks control over the rest of their body will struggle to master the micro movements of their eyes. The eyes, just like every other part of the body is moved by muscles that are controlled by the cerebellum.
There have been several methods promoted over the years for improving eye sight without glasses. The most famous is the Bates Method first published in 1920. Though rejected by mainstream ophthalmology as ineffective, many people claim to have been helped by the method. Now there is a new method of training and improving the visual system that is suitable for the 21st Century.
Exercise Your Eyes is gym equipment for your eyes. Its design is simple and elegant. A wide arm about a metre in length contains a row of red and blue LED lights. Using the controls on the device you set the pattern in which the lights will blink and their speed. Once the program starts you track the blinking lights with your eye, exercising the muscles and the cerebellum that controls them.
This simple approach has two very clever twists. Firstly the device is designed in such a way the that wide arm can be turned to different angles, stretching the eyes in different dirrections, Additionally it can be configured so that you look down the length of the device, much like looking down the length of a rifle barrel.
The second clever twist is the inclusion of reversible sun-glasses with one red and one blue lens. They are reversible so that the red lens can be over the left eye with the blue lens over the right and vice versa. Because the LED lights are red and blue only one eye will be able see the light because the red or blue lens will filter out light of the same colour. This allows the eyes to be exercised independently.
I’ve been trying out a unit sent by Exercise Your Eyes for almost two weeks but its too early to say whether it working or not. However there has been research carried out by Exercise Your Eyes on its effectiveness. I was sent three studies, one on police recruits, one on children playing Little League Baseball and one on college students. Only the Little League study has been published in a peer-reviewed journal (unfortunately its not yet available online) and so the other two studies have to be regarded with caution. Two of the three studies lacked a control group and in the study on police recruits this is a serious short-coming as the subjects where under going intensive police training. Thus making it impossible to say whether any improvements where due to the visual training or the general police training. That said, all three studies where well conducted and the presented data showed clear improvements in the subjects.
I will be continuing my training for the next few weeks and post an update on the results.