2nd August 2018
Hope for millions with vision loss: Virtual reality headset allows legally blind people to see their surroundings and read
A new virtual reality headset could help people who are legally blind be able to see again.
The wearable technology zooms in on whatever the user is looking at, dwarfing the large blind spots caused by macular degeneration, so that the spots essentially disappear.
The makers of IrisVision – created by scientists at Johns Hopkins, The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, and UC Berkeley – say that it has helped restore people’s vision acuity from 20/400 to as high as 20/30.
They hope this technology will be a less expensive, and easier, form of treatment for people who are suffering from a multitude of vision disorders.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss for those age 50 or older, according to the National Eye Institute.
The condition occurs when the macula, an oval area near the center of the retina that allows for sharp vision, becomes damaged.
Sufferers will experience blurred vision or even ‘blind spots’ in their central vision that may grow larger.
Treatments include medications that stop new blood vessels from forming in the eye as well as laser therapies that destroy abnormal blood vessels.