Guide to eReaders for Low Vision & AMD

November 30, 2013

The best e book reader for someone with low vision or macular degeneration is the one that offers the largest screen size and the most options for font magnification and contrast.

This low vision technology is also a wireless reading device. Meaning it runs on a battery and needs no wires and no computer is needed to download ebooks. You can take this wireless reading device anywhere – it is totally portable and lightweight.

Kindle fire

Some of the reasons you may want to consider an electronic reading device are:

1. Font Magnification – You can enlarge the font several times

2. Any book in large print – no longer are you limited to hard copies of large print books

3. Read the newspaper again – can download your favorite daily newspaper and enlarge the font

4. Good contrast and anti-glare screen for easier reading

5. Easy to use. Navigate with touchscreen or easy to use buttons.

6. Read or listen to your book – if you get tired of reading simply press a button to listen to your favorite book on the Kindle reader or download audio books right to any of the e book readers.

7. Less expensive to download the ebooks than it is to purchase large print books.

8. Free wireless access without the need for a computer. Download books, newspapers, textbooks and magazines right to the wireless reading device.

9. Screen rotates to landscape screen or vertical screen

10. A Color Screen is available on the Apple iPad, Barnes and Noble Nook, and the Kindle Fire.

For more info:


Slowing the progression of macular degeneration

November 28, 2013

To slow the disease, if you smoke, stop immediately.

Certain vitamin supplements help somewhat.

The original Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), published in 2001, examined the effects of vitamins and minerals on AMD. After more than 5 years, participants receiving both 500 mg Vitamin C, 400 IU Vitamin E, 15 mg beta carotene and 80 mg zinc showed a statistically significant decrease in progression to advanced AMD.

A follow-on study, AREDS2, published earlier this year, investigated altering the AREDS formula by adding lutein and zeaxanthin, the primary carotenoids in the eye, and omega-3 fatty acids. Other changes included reducing the amount of zinc to 25 mg, and removing beta carotene, since studies suggest it may increase cancer risk in smokers.

For  more info,


Results from AREDS2 showed that reduced amounts of zinc were equally effective, and adding lutein and zeaxanthin benefited two subgroups: 1) those taking AREDS1 formula without beta carotene and 2) those with low levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in their diet. Adding omega-3 fatty acids did not further reduce the progression to advanced AMD.

The RAY Smartphone for the Blind and Low Visioned

November 27, 2013

The RAY G300, the world’s first smartphone specially developed for the blind and visually impaired.


The RAY device provides easy-to-use and intuitive interface for eye-free operation. It also combines several smartphone capabilities including voice calls, messaging, email, contact list services, calendar, GPS, voice recorder, panic and emergency services, color identification, pictures transcription, banknote recognition, audio library and podcast services, and more into one affordable device with one common user interface.


Cost $500.

For more info:!


The Duke Eye Center

November 25, 2013

The following article is by Lauren Tappan:

The Duke Chronicle Newspaper had a brief article this week on construction of the new Duke Eye Center. The Eye Center is planning on having state of the art optical imaging technology. They have rearranged the parking, which is supposed to be more handicapped accessible, and my understanding is they hired a blind architect to help design the new building. They hope to complete the construction in 2013. LC Industries, which is the largest employer of the visually impaired, has contributed money ($16 million) to support this new project.

Note: Some estimates place completion of construction in 2015.

Relief for Low Vision

November 25, 2013

Enhanced Vision has sponsored a YouTube video by Dr. Kevin Huff, OD, on various methods available to improve life for those with low vision. The webinar is broken down into the following groups:

Increase Contrast

Increase Illumination

Control Glare

Use Sound and Audio

Magnification, both Optical and Electronic


In each area, Dr. Huff comments on several solutions.

For more info:

Vanda Therapy Helps the Blind Sleep

November 15, 2013

 FDA Staff Says

Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s experimental drug should be approved to regulate the circadian rhythms of blind people and help them sleep, a U.S. regulatory reviewer said.

The medicine, known as tasimelteon, is effective at synchronizing the body with a 24-hour cycle, Food and Drug Administration staff said today in a report ahead of a Nov. 14 meeting of agency advisers.

 No approved treatments exist for the condition called non-24-hour disorder, which affects as many as 95,000 totally blind people in the U.S, Vanda said. Most people have a master body clock that naturally runs longer than 24 hours and light resets the clock, according to the Rockville, Maryland-based company.

Patients with non-24-hour disorder now try the hormone melatonin with mixed results. Vanda studied its compound’s ability to “entrain” or modify circadian rhythms.

Assisted Vision Smart Glasses

November 10, 2013

A group at Oxford, England,  are developing a pair of smart-glasses to enhance vision for people with very poor sight.Image

By making best use of any remaining vision, they hope to let people enjoy increased independence by allowing them to easily detect objects that are otherwise hard to see.

It seems similar to Digiglasses. However, It is very important to them that as many people as possible have access to these glasses, as they can really turn a life around. So, they are trying to keep the costs down as low as possible. For the visual portion of the glasses, they use off-the-shelf products like the Microsoft Kinect and USB webcams where they can.

For more info:

Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences
University of Oxford
Level 6, West Wing
John Radcliffe Hospital
United Kingdom