Let's focus on what we can do!

By Disabled People for Disabled People

  • Home
  • >
  • Latest Headlines
  • >
  • Treating Blindness and Vision Loss—New Technology and Possible Cures – Popular Mechanics

Treating Blindness and Vision Loss—New Technology and Possible Cures – Popular Mechanics

Friday, 8 March, 2019

Treating Blindness and Vision Loss—New Technology and Possible Cures – Popular Mechanics

[responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to Post”]

About 170,000 vehicles use the Queensboro Bridge each day, passing by Larry Misrok’s apartment building, which sits at the entrance to one of the ramps. Crossing the street there might be a daunting task for anyone, but for Misrok, an 81-year old lawyer, it could be deadly. Misrok is virtually blind.

He navigates New York’s busy streets and broken sidewalks with high-tech glasses that have a camera attached to the side, made by a company called Aira. Misrok calls up an app on his telephone, which puts him in touch with one of Aira’s hundreds of workers around the country, who then commandeer the camera on his glasses and narrate his surroundings for him. “Watch out, there’s a curb coming,” or “There’s a cyclist coming up on your right,” the Aira helper might say. It’s not like having 20/20 sight, but it’s enough to get him to the grocery store half a block away—provided he turns away from the bridge ramp and not toward it.

Misrok’s troubles began in the 1970s, when he started seeing floaters in his eyes. “I thought it was a result of getting my head banged with a basketball the year before,” he says. He went to a local eye doctor but was told his problem was beyond their expertise. After trips to the head of ophthalmology at Montefiore hospital, and then a stream of experts at Mt. Sinai, New York University, Johns Hopkins, and the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, he learned he had a rare autoimmune disease that caused inflammation in his eyes, destroying a layer of his retina.

The condition, known technically as birdshot chorioretinopathy, causes severe, progressive inflammation of the retina and the choroid, the vascular layer of the eye. It’s named “birdshot” for the small light-colored fundus spots that appear on the retina, which are scattered in a pattern like birdshot from a shotgun. “Right now, I can’t see you very well,” he says as I sit two feet away from him. “I know someone’s there, but I can’t tell if you’re smiling or frowning.”

Not without Aira, anyway. I went to visit him one Saturday afternoon to learn how the technology worked. When we’re ready to take a walk, Misrok puts on the glasses and headset with earphones, calls up the Aira app, and dials into an agent. Carl in Los Angeles picks up.

“I’m Larry Misrok. We’re going to go for a walk out of my apartment. Is the visual working well? I know you have audio,” he says as we step out of his apartment.

“The visual seems to be working,” the agent replies.

With his cell phone in one hand, a white cane in the other, Larry and I walk down the hallway. By the time we reach the elevator, we lose the connection, and the agent is gone.

Read more at: https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/a26533741/a-vision-quest/

Categories :
  • Latest Headlines
  • Visual Impairment
Socials :

Recent posts