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Health: New Way To Possibly Get Rid Of Reading Glasses, Without Surgery

By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --  What if we told you, you could get rid of your reading glasses… no surgery required!  Well, there's something new that promises to do just that.  But does it really work?  Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl takes a look.

Hoping to ditch the reading glasses that she keeps everywhere, Janet Duzicky tried an app called GlassesOff.

"It sounds really interesting to me," said Janet.

It starts with a test that asks which direction a flashing letter E is facing.  Then Janet has to determine whether a fuzzy spot flashes on the screen.

"It's almost like the old video games when they first started," said Janet.

It's a series of exercises that the maker says can retrain how the brain interprets what they eye sees.

"The eye functions as a sensor - but the vision occurs in the brain," said Nimrod Madar, CEO of GlassesOff.  He says the app stimulates neurons in your brain, and years of research have gone into it.  The company's founder is a neuroscientist and optometrist.

"Between the age of 40 to 60 we believe 80 percent of the people will be able to totally enjoy the benefits of eliminating their dependency on reading glasses," said Madar.

But Ophthalmologist Ellen Mitchell questions the small number of participants in a published study, and doesn't know whether the app works.  But she thinks it's definitely intriguing.

"We used to think that only children's brains could relearn and learn new things, but we're finding that adults, there is some plasticity to the brain, in adults also," said Dr. Mitchell.

As for Janet Duzicky, her first impression was positive.

"It is very interesting and like I said, I could feel myself from when it started to when it was getting smaller to really concentrate," said Janet.

GlassesOff requires three, 15 minute sessions a week, for three months.  It's free to start, but a few weeks in you have to pay $59 to continue.

GlassesOff Information-

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