April 29, 2013
People who have received liver transplants have double the risk of developing a largely incurable cause of blindness in the elderly, a UK-based study has found.
Researchers discovered that almost two-thirds (65%) of patients had some form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and have suggested the introduction of regular optician monitoring for all liver transplant recipients.
The unexpected figure is double the level seen in the general population.
During the three-year project, the team led by Professor Andrew Lotery at Southampton, UK General Hospital studied 223 Western European patients 55 years and over who had undergone liver transplants at least five years ago to find out more about the relationship between the complex eye condition and liver transplantation.
“However, with this knowledge, we now know much more emphasis should be placed on the eye health of liver transplant patients and that should involve regular and ongoing optician monitoring and prompt referral to ophthalmologists if AMD is detected.”
For more info: http://www.littlehamptongazette.co.uk/news/regional/liver-recipients-at-high-amd-risk-1-5023515
April 22, 2013
Optelec ClearView+ Speech Makes Reading Easy Again
The ClearView+ Speech combines video magnification and accurate text-to-speech that makes it easy to select what you want to read. It allows you to enlarge materials to a more comfortable size or change the high contrast viewing modes with one master dial. To activate the Speech feature, just simply touch the screen and instantly enjoy listening to articles, letters and books with a natural sounding voice and full page overview.
For more info: http://www.optelec.com/en_US/optelec-clearview-speech
or call 1-800-826-4200
April 20, 2013
What began as a project for a student competition may possibly result in a breakthrough for the 39 million people suffering from blindness worldwide.
Maria Pia Celestino, Viurniel Sanchez, Jesus Amundarain and Esam Mashni from Florida International University were instructed to develop a social entrepreneurship project for a business class. What the team came up with was a pair of lightweight eyeglasses capable of reading text to the blind.
The invention consists of a pair of eyeglasses, 2 Micro HD cameras, and earphone and a 4 GB Hard Drive. On either side of the eyeglasses you will find 2 Micro HD cameras to capture the images of the text. The text is then quickly processed by the 4 GB HD and software creating an immediate playback to the wearer through the earphone.
Using simple components, the team wishes to make this a cost-effective solution for the vision impaired.
For more info: http://www.electronicproducts.com/Optoelectronics/Image_Sensors_and_Optical_Detectors/How_a_pair_of_eyeglasses_will_give_blind_people_the_ability_to_read.aspx
April 15, 2013
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized use of an iPhone app to allow retinal disease patients to monitor their vision between visits to the doctor.
MyVisionTrack was developed for elderly patients with serious retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. It incorporates a proprietary shape discrimination hyperacuity (SDH) test by the Retina Foundation of the Southwest, which developed an eye exam that’s suitable for a PC or smartphone and is unaffected by factors such as user distance.
The test consists of three circles, one of which is distorted, Mike Bartlett of Vital Art and Science (VAS) said. The app instructs patients to “touch the circle that is different,” he explained. “As they get it right, the distortion gets smaller; when they miss, the distortion gets bigger,” he said.
Then the test moves to the user’s threshold until the distorted circle is no longer visible. An algorithm determines a patient’s vision threshold using statistics generated by the app.
For more info: http://www.eweek.com/mobile/iphone-app-for-vision-tests-gains-fda-approval/
April 15, 2013
The Alpha IMS is a sub-retinal implant developed by Retina Implant AG. It is a new treatment option for patients in the UK with retinitis pigmentosa who are blind, to help restore vision.
Alpha IMS is a 3×32mm wireless microchip that features a 1500 pixel resolution. The microchip captures light and in turn stimulates the optic nerve, which delivers visual signal data to the brain. The patient is able to see a black and white image. To adjust the brightness, a dial is fitted just behind the ear and the Alpha IMS is powered by a wireless pocket battery.
For more info: http://www.hsc.nihr.ac.uk/topics/alpha-ims-for-blind-retinitis-pigmentosa/