Living Safely and Independently with Macular Degeneration

March 21, 2015

ABC News Report

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans over 60 years old. It affects more than 15 million people.

Dr. Marc Harold Levy, Neuro-Ophthalmologist, joined ABC40’s Tom Lewis and Emily Volz on ABC40 News at 12:30 p.m. to talk about some tips on how to live safely and independently.Wet AMD is treated with Injections or laser. Dry AMD is treated with vitamins or telescopic implants.

For a video explanation:


eSight restores vision

March 8, 2015

eSight are wearable electronic glasses that allow the legally blind to actually see. It is FDA approved.


eSight can autofocus on short, medium and long-range objects. Interestingly, eSight’s many unique features—such as 14-times zoom, image contrast enhancement, reverse color display, etc.—enable eSight users to actually see many things that normally-sighted people cannot see.

The most common causes of vision loss among current eSight addresses include:

  • Macular Degeneration
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Stargardt’s Disease
  • Ocular Albinism
  • Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy
  • Cone-Rod Dystrophy
  • Some forms of Glaucoma, Retinitis Pigmentosa

It is very expensive. eSight costs $15,000.

However, eSight fully recognizes that many of the legally blind cannot afford to pay this price and will do all it can with sponsors and funding organizations to ensure that anyone who needs eSight will get the glasses regardless of their ability to pay.

For more info:

Dame Judi Dench has both Wet and Dry AMD

March 7, 2015

Though she recently declared old age to be just a number “imposed” upon the elderly, Dame Judi Dench now admits that she can no longer travel alone for fear of bumping into things.


The much-loved actress, who recently filmed The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in India, said last week that her eyesight has now deteriorated to the extent that she needs a chaperone to stop her falling over “like a mad, drunk lady” and she can no longer read her own scripts.

The Oscar-winner, now 80, has been battling age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness, since 2012 and has to rely on friends and family to help her learn her lines.

AMD is an eye condition that affects a tiny part of the retina at the back of your eye which is called the macula and causes problems with central vision.

There are two main types of AMD, “wet” and “dry” based on the appearance of the eye. Dry AMD is by far the most common form of the disease and there is no treatment. However sight-saving treatment exists for wet AMD if it is diagnosed in time. Dame Judi has dry AMD in one eye and wet AMD in the other.

Symptoms vary but usually the first problem sufferers notice is an inability to see fine detail. Central vision may become blurred, straight lines become curvy, distorted or wavy and small print becomes unclear, even when wearing reading glasses.

George Wurtzel — Blind Woodworker & Craftsman

March 7, 2015

George teaches woodworking to people who are sightless or have limited vision. A former NC craftsman, he works in Minneapolis, MN.

Woodworking Classes For Anyone At Any Experience Level

He can take someone with no experience at all — maybe never even had the opportunity to use a hammer or screw driver — and show them with the right amount of directions through their own hands or feet they can bring their project to life.

He has taught people from all walks of life and people with a wide array of skills, talents and challenges: from a trades person with 30 years experience who needs to become a solid service fabricator to a person who had no hands and he taught him to run power saws with his feet. He happened to be a person with normal vision, but he was taking a job with an agency for the blind and there the policy was that their employees will take my class while wearing a blindfold.

He has taught deaf, blind people, people with many different varieties of physical or mental capacities. He is proud to say he thinks that he improved the quality of their lives and added to how they felt about their ability to encompass new challenges.

If you want to learn how to build beautiful wood objects, please inquire. He is always willing to help someone who just wants to build one thing, or someone who wants to build as a hobby or to earn a living at it.

If you want to build a one-time project, learn how to be a good hobby craftsman or want the background to pursue woodworking as your vocation, he is willing to help you to use your own talents better.

For more info:

George Wurtzel Woodworking | 517-449-2150
2613 S. Stevens Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55408