Telescopic Eyeglasses

August 9, 2014

Working with a manufacturer of dental and surgical optical devices, CraftOptics has designed a set of telescopic eyeglasses for the craft trade. They provide precision magnification with a wide field of view. There’s no distortion or fuzzy edges and our telescopes provide easy viewing both inside and outside the magnified field. Designed to allow comfortable working distances for crafts and hobbies to prevent back and neck soreness and eye strain. Adjustable working angle lets you easily choose and change your position. Very lightweight at 48 grams with a bifocal prescription installed!

 


Seeing Eye Shoes

August 9, 2014

Totally New Navigation Assistive Device

Indian wearable tech startup Ducere Tech has created smart shoes called Lechal that can give the wearer directions without needing to look at a smartphone. Lechal translates as “take me there” in Hindi.

Lechal shoe

The user enters her destination into the Lechal app using Google Maps or a similar navigation app. From this point on, the company claims, she no longer needs to look at her phone. The app connects via Bluetooth to a module that slides into the back of the shoe. The right or left shoe then buzzes depending on which direction the user should turn.

For more info:

http://mashable.com/2014/07/29/smart-shoes-directions/

http://lechal.com/shoes.html

 

 


Treatments for Stargardt’s

August 3, 2014

Examining various methods and treatments currently in clinical and pre-clinical stages .

Pharmacologic, gene therapy, and stem cell therapy approaches to Stargardt’s disease are currently in clinical and pre-clinical development, said Hendrik P.N. Scholl, MD, MA.  The FDA recommended a prospective study on the natural history of Stargardt’s disease, he continued. To this end, The Natural History of the Progression of Atrophy Secondary to Stargardt’s Disease (ProgStar) Study was developed.

Medical therapy

Several compounds have shown promise as potential medical therapy of Stargardt’s disease, Dr. Scholl said.

“Toxic A2E accumulates in every retina, but at a much higher rate in Stargardt’s disease retinas.

In addition, deuterated vitamin A are may help slow the accumulation of A2E by blocking its formation downstream the visual cycle, Dr. Scholl explained. The effects of deuterated vitamin A are currently in a phase Ia trial.

Gene therapy

Gene therapy is also being developed and there is an active clinical trial in phase Ib. The program is being sponsored by Sanofi-Fovea. Pre-clinical data had been convincing to show that delivering the healthy gene to the photoreceptor had a significantly positive impact on A2E accumulation in a mouse model of the disease, Dr. Scholl said.

Stem cell therapy

Stem cell therapy is yet another option for the treatment of Stargardt’s disease that is also currently being studied, Dr. Scholl added.

From the Advanced Cell Technology trial there is a preliminary report on stem cell therapy in age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt’s disease.

- See more at: http://ophthalmologytimes.modernmedicine.com/ophthalmologytimes/news/stargardt-s-disease-new-strategies-new-therapies#sthash.pP9BruIu.dpuf


My good experience with a Tablet

July 20, 2014

The following is by Lauren Tappan:

Tablet

I was recently in the San Francisco airport looking at the new Samsung Galaxy tablet. This tablet is similar to an IPad. As I was standing in the retail kiosk, I could not read the signs around me. I took a picture of the signs with the Samsung Galaxy tablet, froze the image, and then magnified the text. At that point, I was able to read each sign in the kiosk. This got my attention so now I am arranging for a couple private sessions with an AT vender for smartphone and IPad solutions.

I was recently in the San Francisco airport looking at the new Samsung Galaxy tablet. This tablet is similar to an IPad. As I was standing in the retail kiosk, I could not read the signs around me. I took a picture of the signs with the Samsung Galaxy tablet, froze the image, and then magnified the text. At that point, I was able to read each sign in the kiosk. This got my attention so now I am arranging for a couple private sessions with an AT vender for smartphone and IPad solutions.


Diagnosing Macular Degeneration: The Tests that Tell

July 19, 2014

The following is from AMDblog.org.

Initial tests for AMD typically simple and consist of a visual acuity assessment and a dilated retinal exam. If signs or symptoms of AMD are discovered during these tests, an eye care professional will usually take photos of a patient’s retina for future reference or conduct other diagnostic tests to help determine the state of the retina. Some of the tests that eye care professionals use can include:

Fundus Photography

Fluorescein Angiogram

Optical Coherence Tomography

Macular Pigment Density Testing

Amsler Grid

It’s extremely important to have regular eye examinations, particularly if you’re over 65 years old, or have risk factors associated with macular degeneration such as a family history of AMD, poor diet or history of smoking. Getting appropriately diagnosed and receiving early intervention for AMD can be the difference between stabilizing –or even restoring some eye sight- and losing your central vision. You don’t have to go blind!

For more info:

http://www.amdblog.org/macular-degeneration/diagnosing-macular-degeneration-the-tests-that-tell/

 

 


Treatment for Depression and Vision Loss

July 12, 2014

With aging comes a host of associated problems. One of them is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the primary reason for vision loss among people older than 50. Progressive decline in vision can often leave the patient confused, and depression is a major risk in such cases.

In order to reduce this risk, a new study has suggested a novel intervention, which combines low vision therapy with psychological rehabilitation. The study, called Low Vision Depression Prevention Trial (VITAL), funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, estimates to cut the risk of depression by 50 percent.

“Our results emphasize the high risk of depression from AMD, and the benefits of multi-disciplinary treatment that bridges primary eye care, psychiatry, psychology, and rehabilitation,” said Dr. Barry Rovner, a professor of psychiatry and neurology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. The findings have been published in the journal, Ophthalmology.

For more info:

http://www.medicaldaily.com/senior-citizens-age-related-macular-degeneration-need-optometric-well-psychological-rehabilitation

http://www.hcplive.com/articles/Mental-Health-Low-Vision-Program-in-Age-related-Macular-Degeneration

 

 


The Dangers of Electric Vehicles

July 7, 2014

The Following is by Lauren Tappan.

Dialogue recently printed an article by the European Blind Union.

In a matter of months, accidents involving pedestrians, cyclists and visually impaired
people have risen. It is time to take action.It is virtually impossible to audibly detect an
electric vehicle or gauge its distance and the direction it is travelling accurately or quickly
enough to avoid being knocked over. Silent vehicles therefore pose a hazard for the
blind and other vulnerable road users.

In concrete terms, all pedestrians and cyclists are at risk, particularly  blind and partially sighted
people, but also other pedestrians such as the hearing impaired, those with limited cognitive
abilities, children and the elderly. This threat is even greater when there is a combination of
silent vehicles – electric and hybrid cars – and conventional engine cars on the road.

All vehicles, whether electric or hybrid, should be equipped with a special acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS)
if they are considered to run near silently.

AVAS installation should be compulsory, and not left to the discretion of car manufacturers.

The noise generated by the AVAS should be emitted automatically until the noise of the actual vehicle (noise of the tyres, etc.) is audible and becomes the dominant source of noise (40 KmH).

It should be impossible to manipulate or deactivate the system independently, except during legal
vehicle maintenance operations.
The noise generated by the aVaS clearly and
easily indicate the vehicle’s mode of operation
(acceleration, deceleration, reverse and
manoeuvring). The reverse signal must be diff erent
to the forward signal.

The aVaS emit a sound when the vehicle is temporarily stationary but with the motor running, such as at traffi c
signals. Blind pedestrians must be alerted to the presence of silent vehicles to enable them to make the right decision
and to cross with ease and confidence.

Many roads, particularly in small towns and rural areas, but also at many junctions in our cities, do not have pedestrian crossings or audible traffic signals for visually impaired people.  Blind and partially sighted people  therefore rely on the ‘noise’ of cars to guide them. In addition, as blind and partially sighted people have diffi culty travelling in a straight line, they often enter the parallel stream of traffic. This problem is even greater at roundabouts, of which there are an increasing number.

Electric and hybrid vehicles are twice as likely to be involved in accidents with blind and partially sighted
people in urban settings.

For more info:  http://www.euroblind.org/media/lobbying/press_kit_final2.pdf

 


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