Can apps really help fix aging eyes? Let's see - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Can apps really help fix aging eyes? Let's see

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - For those of us who weren't blessed with perfect eyes, there's apparently an app for that.

One of them is UltimEyes, which is the brainchild of Aaron Sietz, a psychology professor at the University of Riverside. The app supposedly strengthens the visual cortex, improving the way the brain processes info coming from the eyes, improving vision.

"We're not necessarily going to cure them, but we can definitely improve their lifestyle," Sietz said.

"It's a myth. Anybody who actually understands the optics of the eye... it's an obvious myth," Scripps Director of Pediatric Ophthalmology Dr. Gregory Ostrow said.

Ostrow says when it comes to bad eyesight, there's not an app for that.

"There is no actual way to reverse near sightedness permanently. A nearsighted eye is an eye that has grown too long. All the exercises in the world aren't going to make your eyes shrink," he said.

He says there's only a few options people have. The most common is contacts and glasses, which he says don't make your actual eye any better or worse, just allow you to see. Besides that, there's only surgeries like Lasik.

"These apps certainly aren't doing any harm to anybody, but there's no way a computer app or iPad app is going to reverse your nearsightedness," Ostrow said.

But UltimEyes says for years they've studied pilots, students, even baseball players and some have shown improvement. Ostrow says buyer beware.

"There's no data that that works, and there's no scientific reason why it should work. But you can spend your 5 bucks on whatever you want. Probably healthier to do that than go buy a Big Mac," Ostrow said.

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