Archive for September, 2014

Low Vision News Recap- September 2014

Posted on: September 28th, 2014 by lowvision

Below is a compilation of news you can use relating to low vision and eye health in the month of September.

Young Man with Macular Degeneration Describes What It’s like to Go Blind
Medical Daily
Macular degeneration — often called age-related macular degeneration — is typically found in adults 60+. The disease attacks your central vision and can lead to trouble with completing daily tasks like reading and driving, and can ultimately leave you virtually blind. Despite the fact that the disorder mainly affects older individuals, one 29-year-old suffers from a type of macular degeneration called conrad dystrophy. Mark Muszynski describes his condition in a video, saying that his disorder is defined by a genetic mutation in his ABCA4 gene, which causes a loss of photoreceptor cells.

Foods to help reduce glaucoma risk
Fox News
As glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness, researchers have found that eating the right foods may help to reduce the risk of glaucoma, prevent the disease, and help people to maintain healthy eyesight longer in life.

Beyond magnifying glasses: High-tech options for the vision-impaired
Marketplace
With new technology hitting the market every day, developers are also creating applications that can assist individuals with low vision on digital devices.

Researchers Probe Molecular Cause for Glaucoma
HealthDay
A possible breakthrough in glaucoma research: scientists have identified the two molecules which, if not present in the eye, could result in blocked drainage of fluid from the eye that then builds up pressure and can damage the retina and the optic nerve.

Consumer Tech and Low Vision: Tools you can use

Posted on: September 26th, 2014 by lowvision

Over the past two decades, we have seen a digital transformation where many print objects like newspapers, books and mail are now accessed through electronic devices. However, for individuals who live with low vision conditions, this can be problematic as font styles and sizes can be difficult to read in these new mediums.

As technology has evolved, companies have recognized the unique needs of this population and are working to enhance products and software to meet the needs of people with low vision.

Recently, Google has retooled its apps and products to enhance accessibility for low vision and blind users of Google Drive as well as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, and Forms. The improvements include an enhanced screen reader, Braille display, and phone support for those who need additional assistance.

Below are some other essential tools and resources that can help enhance your life while living with low vision.

  • E-Readers: Apps like Spotlight Text and Read2Go provide adjustments for avid readers with impaired vision, helping increase or decrease font size as needed. E-readers like Kindles and iPads have functions in place to adjust font sizes and contrast settings on each device, in addition to text-to-speech functionality.
  • Text: Text-to-speech apps are available to translate the small print into audio. Tools like Siri on the iPhone can assist with this function as well.
  • Maps: Directions are an issue for everyone, but can even be harder to interpret with vision impairment. Many GPS apps provide voice assistance in addition to written directions.

These apps and devices are available to anyone. Tools and devices specifically for people with low vision can also increase quality of life for people with these conditions and help with everyday tasks. More information on low vision devices is available at http://whatislowvision.org/low-vision-devices/.

Even though we live in an increasingly digital world, individuals with low vision don’t have to be left behind and can even thrive with the help of new technology.

Low Vision News Recap- August 2014

Posted on: September 2nd, 2014 by lowvision

Below is a compilation of news you can use relating to low vision and eye health in the month of August.

Here’s how to protect your vision as you age
Washington Post
As baby boomers age, more people will be confronted with vision problems. While there’s no way to prevent presbyopia — the fuzzy close-up vision that requires reading glasses — doctors say you can do a few things to lower your risk for — or at least slow the progression of — other age-related problems.

Needle Treatment for Glaucoma Shows Promise
The Wall Street Journal
Scientists are working to develop new techniques to administer medication for glaucoma patients that replace the usual regimen of twice-daily eye drops, a sometimes unreliable treatment. A promising approach, reported in the August issue of Experimental Eye Research, involves a monthly injection of a slow-release drug directly into the eye.

iStent provides permanent relief for glaucoma patients
Fox News
Most glaucoma patients use eye drops to treat the disease. However, managing the eye drops— which sometimes need to be administered multiple times during the day— can be cumbersome. One new solution for managing glaucoma is a new minimally invasive surgical procedure that inserts a device called iStent, providing a more permanent solution for glaucoma patients.

Smoking linked to risk, progression of macular degeneration
Reuters
People who smoke, or have smoked a large number of cigarettes over time, are more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration or to have it worsen sooner, according to a long-term study.

Take a look at this different approach to cataract surgery
Daily News
Dr. Scott Greenbaum, an assistant clinical professor in the department of ophthalmology at New York University, developed the method for treating cataracts — the clouding of the eyes’ lenses — that eliminates the need for glasses in 90% of patients.

Learn symptoms of macular degeneration
The Courier Journal
Odds are that more than half of boomers will suffer at some point from an age-related eye problem. One of the biggies is macular degeneration (MD), and the risk increases substantially with age, starting at 2 percent at age 50 and jumping to 30 percent by age 75. All told, some 15 million Americans suffer from this condition, and it’s a major cause of losing the ability to perform everyday activities necessary to live independently.