London - Half an hour a day on an iPad or computer can improve eyesight by up to a third and give users superhuman vision, research reveals.

Many of those who took part in the scientific experiment ended up with eyesight much better than normal 20/20 vision - and could read an eye chart from three times further away.

US scientists devised a two-month eye training programme that involved spending 25 minutes a day solving visual patterns on a screen – but designed in a way to make the brain work harder rather than the eyes.

The patterns became dimmer and therefore harder to find as the programme wore on - but designed in a way to make the brain work harder rather than the eyes themselves.

Other eyesight training programmes exist but they concentrate on making eye muscles work harder.

This one, according to its creators, specifically tested the brain because the volunteers had to choose patterns and think about what they were doing.

 

For those who took part in the experiment - in this case members of a US university baseball team - came out of it with stunning improvements to their basic eyesight.

According to the results, published in the specialist journal Current Biology, eyesight improved, on average, by 31 percent among the 19 players taking part.

Seven players reached a vision level of 20/7.5 (where 20/20 vision is the norm) which allows them to read text from 40 feet, almost three times further away than normal.

For the baseball players from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) it meant they could see the ball better as it came to them plus their peripheral vision improved.

They were also able to pick out the ball better in fading light and at night.

But now the training is being adapted to help others, from professionals such as the police to those who have had operations to remove cataracts and need help to restore their vision.

Study author Aaron Seitz said: “The goal of the programme is to train the brain to better respond to the inputs that it gets from the eye.

“Our potential is greater than our normal level of performance.

“When we go to the gym and exercise, we are able to increase our physical fitness; it’s the same thing with the brain.

“By exercising our mental processes we can promote our mental fitness.” - Daily Mail