Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Training offers hope to partially sighted

  • Comment

A cheap and accessible training course could improve the lives of thousands of people who are partially sighted after a stroke or brain injury, a study has revealed.

The training could eventually be delivered on mobile phones or hand-held games consoles, according to the research.
A computer-based technique developed and assessed at Durham University improved partially sighted people’s ability to “see” better.

It could eventually broaden the portfolio of rehabilitation techniques for partially sighted patients.

Published in the academic journal Brain, the study tested the technique on patients who suffer from hemianopia - where sufferers lose half of their visual field due to stroke or other brain injury - which affects more than 4,000 people in the UK each year. Suffers can struggle with balance, walking, and are not normally able to drive.

By testing patients’ visual ability before and after the training, researchers found that patients became faster and more accurate at detecting objects, such as coloured dots or numbers, on a computer screen.

It is thought the test helped patients to compensate for their lost vision by better exploring their “blind field”, which is the part of the visual field affected by the brain damage.

Scientists believe patients learn to “see” better due to improved attention, concentration and awareness of their visual problems.

Lead researcher Dr Alison Lane, from Durham University’s Psychology Department, said: “This simple technique is a very viable rehabilitation option and in future could be easily accessible at low cost to everyone who needs it.”

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.