From 2010 to 2020, the number of people who have visual impairment has increased from 285 million to 2.2 billion. All of these individuals of varied ages are suffering from different stages of impairment that could hinder them from comfortably living their lives. Because of this, assistive technology has been a boon that continues to manifest in more innovative ways than ever. Here are some of the most effective and advanced products out there today.
Peripheral Vision glasses
A form of prescription smart glasses, these were created to cater to a large community of individuals who have “tunnel vision,” which means their peripheral vision is either significantly limited or not accessible at all. There are many possible causes for tunnel vision, like retina damage and trauma. But some of the most common reasons are glaucoma, hypersensitive retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, and even stroke. Unfortunately, the loss of peripheral vision cannot be reversed. That’s where these glasses come in handy.
Using projection technology, these assistive accessories make up for that lost area and allow the user to see with an expanded field of view. By stretching out the user’s vision and enabling multiple cameras to differentiate the foreground and background, that helps the individual navigate their surroundings better and have a bigger awareness of objects in their vicinity.
Central Vision glasses
This device is another type of smart glasses that are prescribed. It uses corrective technology to cater to those who have lost vision in the central section of their view. Usually targeting the center of the retina, there are still more advanced versions of these glasses being developed and expected to release in 2020.
Though more often seen in older individuals with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) that gradually worsens over time, central vision loss is also often a symptom of other eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy, macular edemas, holes, and puckers. The reason many conditions in the macula cause this loss is the nerves in your eyes are linked to it. These nerves are in charge of your central vision. The glasses work the same as the previous, but as a parallel, it projects a field of view for your center while not blocking out your working peripheral regions.
Low vision is becoming more common, especially now that we are regularly exposed to screens. Though some cases of low vision can be rehabilitated to increase sight to a certain extent, most individuals can make use of screen readers.
Either using a speech synthesizer or braille display, this device allows users to read different text on the screen, even if it’s different font sizes or colors. It also helps users to access various functions of personal computers and gadgets that would otherwise be hard for them to navigate because of their visual impairment.
While visual impairment cannot be reversed, there are many ways to prevent further degradation and to allow a level of independence and quality of life despite the struggles that come with visual conditions. With assistive technology continually advancing and becoming more accessible, it seems more people can see the world around them.