Losing your eyesight is one of those unavoidable old age conditions. Presbyopia is one of them. Your eyes lose their plasticiticy and it makes it harder to read. But it turns out, there might be a way to fight the condition, and that is by keeping your brain spry.

Researchers from UC Berkley and Tel-Aviv University have found some evidence that eye exercises could help presbyopes improve their vision. The researchers took a group of middle aged people with the disorder and ran them through a thrice weekly half hour series of eye exercises. Over the next three months, thirty subjects did the eye exercises and those that struggled ready print on paper were now able to read it. Their reading speed increased too.

The technique? It wasn't any eye exercise per se, but rather the brain at work. Researchers said that by increasing the efficiency of neural processing to "de-blur" the images and to decipher it better. The brain could be flexible enough to overcome the deficits of age.

While the sample size is very small, its possible that these results might not pan out. For those at home who want to give this a try, first you'll have to decipher the description of the training:
Subjects were trained on contrast detection of Gabor targets under backward masking conditions, posing temporal constraints on the visual processing. The training covered a range of spatial frequencies and orien- tations that were modified in accordance with the performance improvement. Subjects were trained in a dark room from a distance of 40 cm with both eyes open.
Photo by Ahmed Sinan.