Over one million
Americans aged 40 and over are currently blind and an additional 2.4
million are visually impaired.
The leading causes of vision impairment (low vision) and blindness in
the U.S. are diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration,
cataract, and glaucoma.
-- DIABETIC RETINOPATHY is a common complication of diabetes.
Retinal blood vessels can break down, leak, or become blocked, affecting
and impairing vision over time. Nearly half of all people with diabetes
will develop some degree of diabetic retinopathy during their lifetime,
and risk increases with age and duration of diabetes. People with diabetes
are encouraged to seek annual dilated eye exams. Currently, laser surgery
and a procedure called a vitrectomy are highly effective in treating
diabetic retinopathy. Research into pharmaceutical treatment options
-- AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION is a condition that primarily
affects the part of the retina responsible for sharp central vision.
There are two forms of AMD -- dry AMD and wet AMD. Because AMD often
damages central vision, it is the most common cause of legal blindness
and vision impairment in older Americans (AMD rarely affects those under
the age of 60). While there is no generally accepted treatment for dry
AMD, laser therapies to destroy leaking blood vessels can help reduce
the risk of advancing vision loss in many cases of wet AMD. Research
sponsored by the National Eye Institute has recently shown that a combination
of zinc, vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene may also reduce the risk
of advanced AMD by 25 percent.
-- CATARACT is a clouding of the eye's naturally clear lens.
Most cataracts appear with advancing age. Scientists are unsure what
causes cataract. The most important factor is increasing age, but there
are additional factors, including smoking, diabetes, and excessive exposure
to sunlight. Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in the world,
and affects nearly 20.5 million Americans age 40 and older. By age 80,
more than half of all Americans develop cataract. Cataract is sometimes
considered a conquered disease because surgical treatment that can eliminate
vision loss due to the disease is widely available. However, cataract
still accounts for a significant amount of vision impairment in the
U.S., particularly among people age 65 and over who may have difficulty
accessing appropriate eye care.
-- GLAUCOMA is a disease that causes gradual damage to the optic
nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. The
loss of vision is not experienced until a significant amount of nerve
damage has occurred. For this reason, as many as half of all people
with glaucoma are unaware of their disease. About 2.2 million Americans
age 40 and older have been diagnosed with glaucoma, and another two
million do not know they have it. Most cases of glaucoma can be controlled
and vision loss slowed or halted by timely diagnosis and treatment.
However, any vision lost to glaucoma cannot be restored.
Those affected by low vision often become depressed, are prone to falls
and resultant injuries, and many are socially isolated. There are several
things that can be done to assist those with low vision.
If you or someone close to
you has low vision due to glaucoma or another eye disease, here are
some simple tips to help continue living an active daily life.
Some eye disorders can
be fixed by wearing appropriate contacts. However , you should always consult your eye doctor before
starting this kind of treatment.
Improve Lighting - Add additional light for specific tasks.
Use directed lighting from behind the shoulder to reduce glare. Be
sure that bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, closets, and stairways are
Increase Contrast - Pour your coffee into a white cup, and
your cereal into a dark bowl. Set white plates on dark place mats.
Use a black cutting board for white onions and a white cutting board
for dark-colored foods. Use felt tip pens instead of ball point pens.
Control Glare - Wear amber or dark yellow glasses or clip-ons
to reduce glare, and wear a cap with a brim or a visor outside. Cover
shiny surfaces with a cloth.
Get Organized - Always keep your money, keys, and medications
in the same place to make them easier to find. Have a designated place
for everything in your home, and request that others in the household
respect and maintain the organizational system.
Enlarge Text - Request large-size checks from your bank. Use
large print crossword puzzles and playing cards. Photocopy and enlarge
favorite recipes, addresses, and take-out menus. Use the accessibility
features on Macintosh and Windows computers.
Mark and Label - Mark key positions on your stove, microwave
oven, washing machine, and thermostat with dimensional fabric paint
or nail polish so you can feel the correct positions. Label spices
and medications with a dark marking pen. Carry your address labels
with you to use when filling out forms.
Listen to Books - Listen to audio tapes and books on CD borrowed
from your local library, or from the free Talking Books program sponsored
by the National Library Service.
You may also consider visiting a low vision specialist who can help
you to get organized and assist you in maintaining your independence.
For more information, see the Glaucoma Research Foundation
(1) Created by and
for more information contact:
251 Post Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94108
Reading Device- Makes all
Books Large Type Editions
of you with low vision a new electronic devise is here to help, Its
adjustable font feature lets you read downloaded books with ease.
Hence every book can instantly be a large-type edition. The Amazon
Kindle is an electronic book (e-book) computer appliance which debuted
in November 2007. Featuring an electronic paper display, it reads
the proprietary Kindle format, and downloads content over Amazon Whispernet
which utilizes the Sprint EVDO network. The Kindle can be used stand
alone without a computer. Whispernet is accessible in the United States
through Kindle without any fee.
You can increase the text size of your favorite book or periodical
with the push of a button. Every book in your library can be large
With Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle can read every book, blog, magazine,
and newspaper out loud to you. You can switch back and forth between
reading and listening, and your spot is automatically saved.
At 10.2 ounces, Kindle is lighter than a typical paperback and as thin
as most magazines. Barely a third of an inch in profile, fits perfectly
in your hands.
Simple to Use, No Computer Required
Kindle is completely wireless and ready to use right out of the box.
Longer Battery Life - Read for Days Without Recharging
You can read on a single charge for up to 4 days with wireless on. Turn
wireless off and read for up to 2 weeks.
Charge via USB
Kindle supports wall charging or from your computer.
Get Books in Under 60 Seconds with No Wireless Bills
and periodicals are delivered via Whispernet with national coverage
in less than 60 seconds. And unlike WiFi, you never have to hunt for
a hotspot. No monthly wireless bills, data plans, or commitments.
Holds Over 1,500 Books
Kindle weighs 10.2 ounces and holds more than 1,500 books. A copy of
every book you purchased is backed up online at Amazon.com
Kindle provides a crisp black-and-white 6" screen with the same
appearance and readability of printed paper.Kindle's high-resolution
screen now boasts 16 shades of gray, so images and photos are sharper
and clearer than ever. Kindle's screen reflects light like ordinary
paper and uses no backlighting, You can be read as easily in bright
sunlight as in your living room
You can add annotations to text, just like you might write in the margins
of a book.
Full Image Zoom
Images and photos display crisply on Kindle and can be zoomed to the
full size of the screen.
Kindle makes it easy to take your personal documents with you, eliminating
the need to print them.
Built-in Dictionary with Instant Lookup
Kindle includes The New Oxford American Dictionary with over 250,000
Wireless Access to Wikipedia
Kindle also includes free built-in access to the world's most exhaustive
and up-to-date encyclopedia--Wikipedia.org.
Kindle makes it easy to search within a book, across your library, in
the Kindle Store, or even the Web.
To Get Your Kindle, Just Click Here ---->
- The American Academy
of Ophthalmology and Eye M.D.s around the nation indicate that people
don't have to live with cataracts.
- Cataracts are very common.
Approximately 20.5 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts.
- A cataract is a clouding
of the eye's clear lens. This prevents the passage of light needed
- Cataracts are a significant
cause of blindness in some parts of the world; however, technological
advances and the availability of new procedures in the United States
mean that for most Americans, cataracts don't lead to vision loss.
- More than half of all
Americans develop cataracts by age 80.
- New advances and techniques
have made cataract surgery one of the most successful and life-improving
surgery is the most frequently performed surgical procedure in the
United States, with more than 1.6 million procedures performed each
surgery is usually covered by medical insurance, including Medicare.
surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia.
In this procedure, the Eye M.D. makes a tiny incision through which
he or she removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with a permanent
are not currently used to remove cataracts. But they are sometimes
used after cataract surgery to remove a film that can grow on the
- If you think you may
have a cataract, you don't have to live with it. Talk to your
Eye M.D. about your options.
are no medications or exercises that will prevent the formation
or progression of cataracts or make a cataract disappear.
or vitamin supplements have been shown to be beneficial in populations
with nutritional deficits, but due to the inconsistent results reported
in clinical trials, recommendations cannot be made at this time.
it is very safe and effective, cataract surgery is surgery and you
need to carefully decide if it is right for you. If the cataract
does not interfere with your life, you may decide surgery is not
your Eye M.D. if cataracts are interfering with your lifestyle.
(2) American Academy of Ophthalmology,
BrightFocus Foundation funds research seeking cures
for Alzheimers disease, age-related macular degeneration
and glaucoma, and provides the public with information about risk factors, preventative lifestyles, available
treatments and coping strategies.