Low-Vision Devices Keep Independence in Sight
WebMD News Archive
Available electronic devices include the MaxPort, a computer mouse-like
device that scans a page and magnifies it on a regular television screen or a
closed circuit television (CCTV). When using the CCTV, reading material is
placed on a platform and projected onto a screen. Contrast can be
"The majority of people with macular degeneration prefer white letters
on a black background," Bruce Rosenthal, OD, tells WebMD. Rosenthal is
chief of the Low Vision Program at Lighthouse International and a professor at
Mount Sinai-New York University Medical Center.
Eye conditions other than macular degeneration can cause low vision. Others
include glaucoma, a condition where the pressure in the eye causes damage to
the optic nerve, which slowly destroys the patient's vision; cataracts; and
vision loss associated with diabetes.
Rosenthal says that most people do not know there is help for low vision and
feel it's a normal part of aging. It's not. "I've been doing this for 25
years and one of my major life objectives is to get the word out."
Lighthouse International, the AMD Alliance International and the National
Eye Institute are some of the organizations that help direct patients to a
low-vision clinic in their area. They have toll free numbers and web sites: AMD
Alliance International, http://www.AMDalliance.com, (877)
AMD-7171; Lighthouse International, http://www.lighthouse.org, (800)
829-0500; and the National Eye Institute, http://www.nei.nih.gov, (301) 496-5248.
- Although many patients who are losing their vision are told that nothing
more can be done, there are low-vision clinics that can direct people to
vision-assisting devices and rehabilitation therapy that will enable them to
maintain their lifestyles.
- Some common eye conditions that cause low vision are macular degeneration,
cataracts, glaucoma, and vision loss associated with diabetes.
- Low-vision-assisting devices can include anything from special,
high-powered lenses to high-tech devices, such as the Jordy or the