Health Check: New technology to enhance low vision

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Declining vision is a problem for many senior citizens.

A large number of elderly community members struggle with deteriorating vision.

Twenty percent of all people age 85 and older experience permanent vision loss.

September is Healthy Aging Month, and KFOR spoke with Michael Wood, an expert in technology for individuals experiencing low vision and blindness.

Mr. Wood talked about how vision loss impacts the lives of seniors, as well as what seniors can do to enhance their vision. Watch the above video for his insight.

Photo goes with story
Many elderly community members struggle with low vision.

The following tips and products for enhancing vision were discussed during the interview:

  • Better lighting: “If you put illumination over printed material, it may help improve your ability to read. An elderly person requires nearly three times as much light as a 20-year old. A person who is visually impaired will need even more lighting,” says Noon.
  • Low-vision eyeglasses: “Most people want glasses because that’s what they are used to using but they don’t know that low-vision glasses are available,” explains Tapping. “Whereas a typical eyeglass lens power is 2-1/2 to 3 diopters, a low-vision rehabilitation specialist can prescribe glasses that go up to 80 diopters in a lens.” Eye doctors who do not perform low-vision rehabilitation do not prescribe these special glasses.
  • Digital video magnifiers: “The standard optical magnifier (commonly called a magnifying lens) has just one strength and may cause distortion. There is now a digital magnifier, that digitizes the image and puts it onto the screen with no distortion
  • Wearable high-definition technology. “As technology becomes more sophisticated, it will help even more people. There is a battery-operated, full-color portable system. Worn like a pair of glasses, its high-definition, auto-focus camera and five levels of brightness control enable you to see near, far and everything in between.”
  • Bioptic telescopes for driving. Worn like glasses, bioptic telescopes enable many visually impaired individuals to drive, see TV and see other distant objects. While each state’s laws are different, in some states a person may have up to 20/200 vision and legally drive when using bioptic telescopes.
  • Full HD electronic magnifying cameras. “Imagine pointing a camera at your crafts or paperwork and having a clear, sharp image appear on a large screen,” A 3-in-1 camera offers a wide field of view, bright sharp colors and bold contrast. Just rotate the camera to magnify images in the distance. It can also be used up close like a mirror for applying makeup or other personal grooming.”

Go to lowvision.com for more information on declining vision and products that help with seeing.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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