What s Fresh in Low Vision

Low Vision News And Products

November two thousand fifteen — Imagine how pleasant reading can be with this fresh desktop movie magnifier (CCTV) by Enhanced Vision that has both a high-performance camera for magnification and full-page text-to-speech (OCR) software. It’s actually two devices in one.

The Sony Total HD 1080p auto-focus camera rotates for reading, distance viewing and self-viewing, and it magnifies up to 77x.

The 24-inch high-resolution HD LCD display pivots for best pic quality and offers twenty eight viewing modes for optimal contrast and brightness. With the computer-compatible display you can toggle inbetween a computer and the CCTV. And you can connect the display to an iPad or other tablet.

Shove a button, and you switch from a live photo to OCR. The OCR function includes a reading preview for either reading an entire page or navigating through paragraphs to read selected text. You can choose inbetween masculine and female premium voices in many different languages. And you can save documents, books or pictures and export them to a computer. (Please click here for a close-up pic.)

The DaVinci Pro HD/OCR is effortless to set up — you just buttplug it in and begin. Phone and online support are available, and Enhanced Vision offers a two-year warranty for your peace of mind.

The Amigo HD: Portability And Versatility In One Package

March two thousand fifteen — Reading labels, menus, price tags and street signs can be truly difficult for people with low vision, but the Amigo HD can help.

This hand-held electronic magnifier is about the size of a tablet and weighs just 1.Trio pounds, with a 7-inch high-definition screen. It includes both auto-focus and one-push manual concentrate.

It has large, color buttons to help you choose magnification levels from 1.4x to 25x and the right color contrast for your needs. There are twenty eight available color modes, too. You can use the image-capture for lighter viewing, and you can even upload pictures to a PC.

While it’s enormously portable, the Amigo HD can also be used hands-free on a desktop, so you can read, write, pay bills and work on hobbies. It’s available from Enhanced Vision or through your eye care provider.

Can Human Echolocation Substitute Vision?

January two thousand fifteen — Some blind people use echolocation, a technology commonly associated with bats, to help compensate for lack of vision. They make sounds, often by snapping their fingers or clicking their tongue, and interpret the sound sways that bounce off objects to perceive their surroundings. However, not a lot is known about how echolocation compares with actual glance.

Scientists from the Brain and Mind Institute set out to compare echolocation’s influence on blind people’s perception with sighted individuals’ perception. “Ironically, the proof for the vision-like qualities of echolocation came from blind echolocators wrongly judging how intense objects of different sizes felt,” explains Melvyn Goodale, Director of the Brain and Mind Institute.

The researchers found that blind people using echolocation were susceptible to visual illusions, just like sighted people. Their experiment included three groups of people: sighted people, blind echolocators and blind people not using echolocation. Each group lifted cubes of different sizes by strings and were asked which cube seemed stronger.

The blind group not using echolocation correctly judged that all the cubes weighed the same. But the sighted and echolocation groups both fell victim to the same illusion and overwhelmingly perceived the smaller cubes to be stronger. This optical illusion is known as the “Charpentier illusion.”

The researchers concluded that “echolocation is not just a functional implement to help visually impaired individuals navigate their environment, but actually has the potential to be a finish sensory replacement for vision.”

The accomplish investigate was published in the December issue of Psychological Science.

Poor Visual Acuity Isn’t The Only Reason That Seniors With Low Vision Have Difficulty Functioning

June two thousand fourteen — A probe of seven hundred seventy nine seniors seeking low vision rehabilitation (LVR) services at U.S. clinics found several health problems that increase the functional limitations caused by visual impairments.

Depression can affect overall visual capability as well as specific visual tasks in seniors with low vision.

Participants packed out a questionnaire that measured their abilities in overall vision, reading, mobility, eye-hand coordination and information processing. They were also questioned about their physical, cognitive and psychological health. Here are the results:

  • Visual acuity was the strongest predictor of overall visual capability and reading capability, and it also had a significant effect on the other functional abilities.
  • Physical health was independently associated with overall visual capability, mobility and eye-hand coordination.
  • Decreased cognition had an effect only on reading and mobility.
  • Depression had a consistent negative effect on overall visual capability and on all the vision-related functional tasks.

The researchers concluded that physical, cognitive and psychological health have a significant effect on measures of visual capability, and that these factors should be taken into consideration both when measuring visual abilities before initiating low vision rehabilitation services and when predicting LVR outcomes.

A total report of the examine was published online this month by JAMA Ophthalmology.

Fewer Than ten Percent Of American Women Know They’re At Greater Risk Of Vision Loss Than Studs, Survey Says

April two thousand fourteen — Only nine percent of American women are aware that women have a greater risk than guys of suffering permanent vision loss, according to a fresh national survey sponsored by Prevent Blindness. The online survey was conducted in January and collected information from more than Two,000 female respondents aged eighteen and older.

Prevent Blindness, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving view, is releasing the findings as part of Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month (April) to spotlight the need for greater public awareness of vision problems affecting women.

Mildred M.G. Olivier, MD, a leading accomplished on the eye health of women and children and spokesperson for Prevent Blindness, said the survey results indicate “an alarming lack of skill regarding women’s vision.”

According to the two thousand twelve “Vision Problems in the U.S.” investigate funded by the National Eye Institute and the American Health Assistance Foundation, sixty one percent of Americans with cataracts and sixty five percent of those with age-related macular degeneration are women. Also, women account for sixty six percent of Americans who are legally blind.

One reason for the higher incidence of these age-related eye conditions among women is that they tend to live longer than boys.

To address these issues, Prevent Blindness has created a fresh program called “See Jane See: Women’s Healthy Eyes Now” that provides free information about women’s vision issues, including vision switches that can occur during pregnancy. To learn more, please visit the website SeeJaneSee.org.

Visually Impaired Say They Face Significant Barriers To Care

November two thousand thirteen — Many people who could benefit from low vision services fail to receive them, reducing their quality of life.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science in Canada conducted a literature review to identify common barriers that hinder access to low vision care from the perspective of patients.

The researchers analyzed fourteen studies that were published during the past twenty years and found these common barriers to accessing low vision services, as voiced by visually impaired people:

More education about low vision devices and services could overcome the stigma some people associate with their visual impairment.

  • Lack of awareness of low vision services
  • Misconceptions of what “low vision services” are
  • Poor communication by eye care professionals
  • Location and transportation needs
  • The need to show up independent
  • Worries about the opinions of family and friends
  • Cost of low vision services and optical aids
  • Diminished perception of vision loss relative to other losses in life

Other factors associated with low utilization of low vision services included income level, other/numerous health problems, and education level.

The probe authors concluded that the reasons for people with visual disabilities not accessing low vision services are sophisticated, and some may be more lightly addressed than others.

A stigma associated with using low vision aids and admitting a disability is also a factor. The researchers believe this stigma may be diminished by enhancing awareness and understanding of low vision and low vision services, with better communication by eye care professionals and with public education.

A utter report of the explore was published online in October by the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology.

eSight Eyewear: Designed To Work Well In Every Life Situation

November two thousand thirteen — eSight Eyewear combines wearability with high-tech features, to give low vision or legally blind people the capability to see near, far and in-between.

The eyewear contains a high-resolution movie camera that permanently captures what’s in the wearer’s view, enhances it and projects it in real-time onto two LED screens inwards.

Features include magnification of 1.5x to 14x, auto-focusing, six custom-made color modes for reading, and separate brightness and contrast features to work with various kinds of lighting in the environment. Users can capture still photos, too.

eSight works best for people with vision inbetween 20/60 and 20/400. (Legal blindness is usually defined as 20/200.) It is customized to work with a wearer’s own prescription lenses and can be tilted for best viewing when walking vs. when reading or watching TV.

eSight software can be updated lightly via a computer, says the company, so it will stay current. Please click here for a close-up photo of eSight Eyewear.

Fresh Poll Shows Australians Believe Blindness Is The Hardest Health Condition To Live With

July two thousand thirteen — As part of Australia’s nationwide JulEYE eye health awareness campaign, a survey commissioned by the RANZCO Eye Foundation (Royal Australian and Fresh Zealand College of Ophthalmologists) has found that Australians believe blindness would be the hardest health condition to live with — even more than cancer, loss of mobility and heart disease.

Yet while thirty two percent of respondents believe being blind would be hardest to live with, almost half (46 percent) say they only have their eyes tested if they are having difficulty observing or if their eyes hurt.

The JulEYE campaign is aimed at educating Australians about eye health, investigating your family’s eye health history and the importance of having your eyes examined every two years. An eye exam can detect the main causes of vision loss such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.

Eye disease doesn’t just affect the elderly — many of these diseases are hereditary and can cause vision loss at any age. Detecting any signs of eye disease early permits for the best chance of treatment, given that the vast majority of vision loss is preventable or treatable.

Fresh Low Vision Movies Inform And Inspire

February two thousand thirteen — The National Eye Institute (NEI) has released a fresh movie series called “Living with Low Vision: Stories of Hope and Independence,” which features inspiring stories of people with low vision.

The challenges they face — reading, working at a computer, recognizing colors, cooking and navigating their neighborhoods — haven’t always been effortless to overcome.

But with determination, a positive attitude and the help of vision rehabilitation professionals, they have learned to adapt to their vision impairments and lead busy, productive lives.

One example is Joma, who uses a computer in his work as a customer care associate at a call center. In his movie, he explains how he uses special software to magnify his screen, switch screen colors to enhance readability and more.

Another is Ruth, who has age-related macular degeneration. She discusses her love of painting in watercolors and playing bridge, as well as the implements and strategies she uses to read text and get around independently.

You can observe the movies via the blue box above or by visiting the NEI website. A booklet is available, too. Called Living with Low Vision: What You Should Know, it is downloadable in PDF format here.

Fear Of Falling Among Visually Impaired Seniors Can Cause Isolation

December two thousand twelve — A fear of falling can lead to a sedentary, lonely life for many seniors who don’t see well.

A probe found that forty to fifty percent of older people with vision-impairing eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy have this fear and limit their activities because of it.

In the probe of three hundred forty five patients, those with the fear of falling tended to be older females with worse vision and were more likely to be depressed. They also tended to have extra diseases or conditions.

“It is significant to know more about which activities are being limited due to fear of falling,” said researcher Ellen E. Freeman, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Montreal. “We can then develop and test interventions to help people feel more certain about their capability to securely do those activities.”

A report of the probe appeared in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

For Desktop Magnification, Presto Lite Keeps It Ordinary

September two thousand twelve — Operating on the principle that complicated features will be poorly understood and uncommonly used, Eschenbach and Ash Technologies created the Presto Lite.

This desktop movie magnifier has only the most popular features, so it is ordinary to use as soon as you take it out of the box.

The device has an LCD anti-glare monitor, auto-focus camera and reading table, all connected together. It folds down compactly, so it’s effortless to ship and store, and it weighs just fifteen pounds.

Continuous-zoom magnification ranges from 3X to 21X, and there are three viewing modes: color, black on white and white on black.

The unit is user-customizable, with a tiltable monitor and a sliding reading table. And according to the manufacturer, the LED bulbs never need substituting.

Fresh World Record At London Olympics For Legally Blind Archer

July two thousand twelve — Im Dong-hyun of South Korea has violated his own record and helped South Korea set a team record in a preliminary round of archery at the London Olympics.

Im, who is aged 26, reportedly has only 20/200 vision in one eye and 20/100 in the other. (In the United States, most states require 20/40 vision or better to drive without corrective eyewear.)

Im does not normally use corrective eyewear during competitions, despite his very blurry vision. To aim, he concentrates on the bright colors of the target.

He won gold medals in two other Olympics: Athens and Beijing. He downplays his vision issues and says that he doesn’t consider them a problem.

Exhibit Spotlights Blind And Visually Impaired Australians

Photo 1: Rita Solomon and her dog Chief. Solomon was one of the earliest Australians to use dogs for orientation and mobility. Photo Two: Chelsea listens to a Daisy Player. (Photos: Illawarra Pictures and Vision Australia). [Increase]

July two thousand twelve — Most museum exhibits have little to suggest visually impaired or blind people, but here’s an exception.

“Living in a Sensory World,” opening August seven at Melbourne Museum (Melbourne, Australia), has interactive displays, multimedia and a diversity of touchable objects that tell the story of how Australians with vision issues have worked, played, learned and lived their lives.

Included are many interesting objects, such as the ball used in the very first match of blind cricket played in Melbourne, an issue of Playboy magazine in braille and Sonicguide glasses from the 1960s that used sounds to identify objects. Also featured is the story of Louis Braille, the Frenchman who invented the tactile reading and writing format.

The exhibit also recounts the many achievements of the visually impaired and provides a look at fresh technologies, such as bionic eyes. And it helps people with normal vision understand what it’s like to rely on other senses besides that of view.

The exhibit, developed by Vision Australia in partnership with the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, will be open through October 28.

Affordable And Lightweight, The Pebble-Mini Is Designed To Help You Stay Independent

May two thousand twelve — With the Pebble-Mini handheld magnifier, you can read menus, price tags, receipts and labels, as well as write checks and more.

It has a 3-inch high-resolution LCD display that magnifies from 2X to 10X. The choice of twenty eight viewing modes and the adjustable brightness let you optimize the Pebble-Mini for your own needs.

It weighs less than four ounces and charges with a USB into either an outlet or your private computer. The “freeze picture” feature lets you take a picture and then magnify the photo or view it in a different mode. You can also save and recall photos.

The Pebble-Mini comes with a pouch, neck strap, hands-free reading stand and two-year warranty. Please click here for close-up photos of the Pebble-Mini in activity.

After-School Program Helps Visually Impaired

Children Stay Active, Avoid Obesity

March two thousand twelve — In many communities, blind and visually impaired children have fewer opportunities to play sports or be active than sighted children. Their fitness levels suffer and they have a high risk of becoming obese.

Junior Blind of America’s After School Enrichment Program aims to switch all that. It runs a multi-sensory playground, aquatics center, weight room, bowling alley, rooftop track and playing field from three to six pm every school day and all day in summer. Other activities include cooking classes, nutrition education and academic enrichment.

The program operates in Los Angeles, serving seventy five visually impaired and sighted children ages eight to thirteen each year, most of whom have low-income, minority backgrounds.

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