The human optic nerve passes through the retina. It is responsible for sending signals to the brain to be interpreted as visual images, and since there is a specific spot that is blocked, when certain images hit that specific area, they aren’t seen because that is a blind spot.
For people who are concerned about this or who need their entire field of vision, you can greatly decrease your blind spot with some training and effort.
People who focus on that area can pick up on directional signals around the blind spot and thereby shrink the area the blind spot covers. Those who have completed an intense training schedule of three weeks saw improvement after 20 days of training.
This means people who have macular degeneration that is getting worse due to age may have the ability to bring back some of their visual acuity with training and persistence. Macular degeneration is currently the primary cause of blindness for Western countries.
Training Can Decrease but Not Eliminate Blind Spot
Because the spot is a physical issue, it can not be avoided completely. However, a difference of about 10% of vision can be improved in that area by improving the sensitivity around the periphery.
Researchers who studied this did so by training 10 people for three weeks, using a task where the person was given a visual that centered around the area of the blind spot. The size of the ring around that area was changed during the testing, and people could see the way the spot moved almost three-quarters of the time.
By the end of the training, the participants could see the direction and color of the circle around the area of the blind spot in their eye. This is enhanced by research that has shown training to improve the capabilities of the neurons in certain areas of the brain.
It is hoped that these methods of training can be adjusted to help people who are dealing with issues from vision loss, retinal stem cell therapy or a bionic eye. Researchers plan to continue studying the ability to change with people who have normal vision, in order to better serve those with visual issues.
The studies will focus on the area around the physiological blind spot and efforts to improve the brain’s ability to read signals sent from the periphery of that area. That way, the training can be adjusted to help those with macular degeneration that is caused by advancing age.
This can help the older generations improve their quality of life and also to live on their own for longer, a fact that will be greatly appreciated by those who dread losing their independence due to increasing dependence on others for tasks they previously accomplished on their own.
Enhanced vision at a progressive age will allow for better handling of various tasks and abilities that are required when one lives alone. These patients will be able to work past the issues they are facing, with a little intense training.