mm391: A site for poor eyes

MUDGE’s Musings

For yr (justifiably) humble svt, eyesight is the most important of the five senses. Of course, if my senses of taste and smell weren’t so important to me, perhaps I wouldn’t weigh what I do.

And, if I had no hearing, my music collection and my 100 stations on Pandora would be useless. And without a sense of touch, certain very enjoyable activities would be far less enjoyable, if possible at all.

But, all considered, for me, sight is the most precious. So this story leapt off the page for me.

nytimes

electronicmagnifier

The Magnifying Glass Gets an Electronic Twist

TECHNOLOGY | Novelties |  By ANNE EISENBERG | Published: May 25, 2008

PEOPLE who lose part of their sight to macular degeneration, diabetes or other diseases may now benefit from some new technology. Several portable video devices that enlarge print may help them make the most of their remaining vision.


Swipe one of the devices over an airline ticket, or point it at a medicine bottle on a shelf, and all of the fine print is blown up and displayed in crisp letters on a screen.

Sturdy desktop video-based systems that magnify print have long been available, but lightweight, portable devices have become popular only in the past decade, as the size of consumer electronics products in general has shrunk. The new hand-held models typically weigh 9 ounces or less and can enlarge the print on closeby or more distant objects: users can pass the magnifier over a menu in a dimly lit restaurant, for example, or aim it at a grocery display on a store aisle.

An electronic magnifying glass; what a great idea! I hope never to need one, but glad they exist, pricey as they presently may be.

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

Novelties – The Magnifying Glass Gets an Electronic Twist – NYTimes.com

One of my brothers inherited a disease that has impacted his life from Day 1: retinitis pigmentosa. The men on my mother’s side of the family can inherit this disease (her father had it, and, notably lived an all-too-short, but accomplished life despite it, a model my mother took to heart), and it’s passed down through their female descendants. Thus, one of my mother’s sons, and one of her sister’s sons inherited the disease. I am quietly relieved that my daughter’s son seems to have no trace of it.

Once diagnosed, and my mother had a pretty good idea what to look for and my brother’s case was discovered quite early, he wore glasses immediately, maybe at one year, or even earlier. I distinctly recall that my very, very young brother’s stuffed toy lamb quickly acquired a pair of black plastic toy glasses to match.

Because, as opposed to my cousin who most cripplingly was, my brother was not treated as a handicapped or disabled person. Thus, he grew up not to be one. He has earned his living most of his life in visual media, and a most lavish living it has been. He travels for business and pleasure extensively.

His accommodation to his disease: he avoids as much as is feasible driving at night (Driving! How? He tests out legally blind in vision tests! Simple answer: mind over matter.).

He flies 1,000 miles to see a specialist ophthalmologist in Colorado, since this doctor treats him as less fully sighted, not mostly blind. He was finally able to put my brother into contact lenses, thereby improving his sight, especially peripheral vision, and thus his overall quality of life immensely.

He deals. Don’t know that I would have had the strength of will.

I have a chronic disease, diabetes, one of whose ultimate outcomes can be blindness. I am (mostly) compliant with my pharmaceutical and dietary protocols, and have high hopes of evading loss of sight. But, I’m not kidding myself either.

Ultimately, it is my sincere hope that technology applied to medicine achieves a cure for my disease, (bioelectronic pancreas, anybody?) while I’m still around to reap the benefit.

Unless and until then, I am most comforted to learn about devices like these electronic magnifiers.

I love technology.

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE

 

 

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8 Responses to mm391: A site for poor eyes

  1. AngelBaby says:

    Great post. It is true that most of us would not like to loose our site. I know I would not like to be blind. I hope they come up with a cure for you and your brother.

    Love and Blessings,
    AngelBaby

  2. David Tamayo says:

    My family is riddled with diabetes. I am also a diabetic. I have never been 20/20 but in the last few years I have really noticed the affect diabetes is having on my eyesight. Reading your post made me think about my mother. She is having a hard time with complications as a result of diabetes. But she, like your brother, are strong spirited individuals that will themselves past such “inconveniences”. Take care my friend.

  3. mudge says:

    AngelBaby, David,

    Thanks to you both for your good wishes!

  4. mudge says:

    Thanks for dropping by, ananth77!

  5. […] ‘Sphere©. Indeed, we have devoted quite a number of posts to health topics, most recently here (you might also be interested in this recent post; it contains an ambitious link table that lists […]

  6. davidhead says:

    Retinitis pigmentosa is explained more fully at http://www.brps.org.uk and great advances are being made in the search ror a cure, in particular using gene therapy. My blog http://brpsnews.wordpress.com also coves some of the onging research stories.

  7. mudge says:

    Thanks for reaching out, davidhead!

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