Lyft App for the i-Pad

June 15, 2017

The following is by Lauren Tappan:

As a low vision user of AT products, I’m always interested in transportation solutions. With the encouragement of my low-vision occupational therapist, I was able to put the Lyft app on my iPad. My lowvision occupational therapist then encouraged me to give it a try and with a great deal of anxiety, I managed to use the Lyft app to locate a driver. After going through their app process, I was able to get a Lyft driver at our house within five minutes and, the return journey was just as easy. If you are a low vision AT user, you might consider checking out the Lyft driving services. I’ve found them very prompt, helpful and I received an automatic receipt right after the journey.


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OrCam Visual Aid

June 7, 2017

The OrCam MyEye is a portable, artificial vision device that allows the visually impaired to understand text and identify objects. The device was developed by Israeli-based company OrCam Technologies Limited, and was released as a prototype in September 2013.

The OrCam MyEye consists of two main components: the head unit and the base unit. The head unit consists of a camera and a microphone, and is mounted on the frames of a pair of eyeglasses. The box-like base unit contains the algorithms and processing components that give the device its functionality, and can be clipped to a belt or left to rest in a pocket. The head unit and base unit are adjoined by a connecting cable.

The OrCam MyEye recognizes text and products, and speaks to the person wearing the device via a bone-conduction earpiece.[5] With the point of the person’s finger, the device instantly responds and will infer whether it needs to read, find an item, or recognize a product depending on the environment. It may do so without searching for audio books, learning new software, or using other tools.


Reading text, menus, street signs

Facial Recognition

Product Searches in supermarkets for over  100 products

Identifies currency value

For more info, including cost & videos:

Eye Drops for Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration

June 6, 2017

From Lauren Tappan

Lorati Company Limited, a Taiwan-based biotechnology and pharmaceutical company, today announced that it has successfully developed nano-grade eye drops, which can effectively treat and reverse cataract, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

Lorati CEO, David Lo, said nano-grade eye drops, based on montmorillonite, also known as God’s clay, is believed to be the last-ditch treatment for cataract, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Huge improvement can be seen within one month of treatment by nano-grade eye drops. After being treated for a couple of months, Mr. Lo claims patients with these chronic eye diseases have gradually restored their vision.

Like all claims about eye cures, view this with caution.

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Oral Treatment for AMD in Phase 1

June 3, 2017

X-82 is an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor that blocks the action of vascular endothelial growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor; might it treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration?

Findings  In this phase 1 dose-escalation study of 35 participants, the most common adverse events attributed to oral X-82 were diarrhea (n = 6), nausea (n = 5), fatigue (n = 5), and transaminase elevation (n = 4). The 71% of participants who tolerated X-82 and completed 6 months of treatment averaged 0.68 intravitreous anti–vascular endothelial growth factor rescue injections, with 60% requiring none.

Meaning  These results justify further study, and a phase 2 trial has completed recruitment.

Importance  An oral treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration would be less burdensome than repeated intravitreous injections. X-82 is an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor active against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet-derived growth factor.

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Macular degeneration may be treatable using viral single-injection gene therapy

June 3, 2017

Researchers from Johns Hopkins are seeking to treat AMD with a single injection rather than multiple intra-ocular anti-VEGF injections. 

The best way they found to do this was by using a common cold-like virus called AAV2 as a carrier of gene that activates the production of a different protein, sFLT01, to counter VEGF.

The clinical trial showed promising results, with the condition of four of the patients improving dramatically after just one viral injection. [T]he treatment didn’t produce any side effects in any patients, either. “Even at the highest dose, the treatment was quite safe. We found there were almost no adverse reactions in our patients,” said researcher Peter Campochiaro.

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Protect yourself against vision loss

May 30, 2017

This article is from Phil Rego:

Using stem cells to regenerate healthy cells in disease-damaged eyes is the holy grail for researchers. This is especially true for incurable conditions that damage the retina, the layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye.

Earlier this year, a Japanese man became the first person to receive retinal stem cells created from donated skin cells to stop his macular degeneration from getting worse.

And scientists at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles report promising results from transplanting stem cells from embryonic cells into patients who had been blind for decades from AMD and another disease. A study in 2014 reported that 10 of the 18 patients who received the cells experienced significantly improved vision.

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Low Glycemic Diet for AMD

May 21, 2017

Researchers find that switching from a high to a low-glycemic diet may stop age-related eye disease by arresting damage to the retina.

A recent study has shown that the onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be slowed by transitioning from a high-glycemic diet to one that is low-glycemic (mouse model). As an example, swapping out white bread for whole grain bread. High-glycemic foods spur the rapid release of sugar into the bloodstream compared to low-glycemic foods. The study was performed by academicians at Tufts University’s Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center. Results of the study were recently published in PNAS.

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