Sounds fanciful but recent research has found that watching how the eyes move when someone is watching TV could give an accurate indication of glaucoma and other neurodegenerative conditions.
An article published earlier this month in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, highlights the findings of research by Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. The studymonitored patterns of movement while a person watched TV and resulted in about three-quarters of people with glaucoma receiving an accurate diagnosis.The researchers used their technology to observethe eye movementsof the test group and this information was then processed in to maps that contained a signature of vision loss. Through data gathered from the study, researchers were able to distinguish between those with age-related neurodegenerative eye disease, such as glaucoma and those without.
Contrary to reports in some national newspapers, watching TV will not prevent these conditions developing, however this study could lead to new, non-invasive screening procedures for glaucoma and other age-related eye conditions. If you read the headline “Fancy an episode of Dad’s Army? How watching TV and films can save your eyesight,” I hope you did so with a large pinch of salt! That said, it is an interesting development relating to diagnosis, although a larger sample (the sample was of 76 older people) would be required for real conclusions to be drawn.