By 2015, there were well over 1 million legally blind people
(with 20/200 vision or worse) in the United States of America.
And, there was a ‘National Health Interview Survey’ NHIS conducted in 2017, according to which:
10% of all Americans (approximating to 26.9 million) reported either blindness
or trouble in vision even after using prescription glasses and lenses.
The good news is that with the low vision technology available today, you can rethink what you’re able to do. No longer does a low vision diagnosis necessarily mean you will see your world with a mere magnifying glass. Now you can see a full view of the world, indoors or out, and engage closer to the way you’re used to.
Technological advancements have led to the development of solutions like electronic glasses for managing low vision conditions and bringing about considerable improvement and independence in how legally blind and visually impaired people see and interact with the world around them.
However, as they say, you shouldn’t take all that glitters for gold. While there are some really amazing electronic glasses out there aimed at improving the way people suffering from low vision see and live, there are also a lot of scammers and impostors looking to exploit innocent people with their gimmickries.
So, how do you discern between the two. Well, that’s what we are here for. We have created a guide containing a list of questions you should consider before buying electronic glasses for yourself or a loved one who is legally blind or visually impaired.
What are some of the major benefits I can expect from a good pair of electronic glasses?
They should allow people with low vision problems see most of the things normally sighted people are able to see; for instance:
Recognizing Faces: Seeing and recognizing people’s faces, whether up close or afar.
Reading Text: Reading newspapers, road signs, signals, books, menus and almost any other type of text material.
Using Work-related and Electronic Tools/Gadgets: Mobiles, tabs, laptops, desktop computers and a whole range of other work-related tools and gadgets.
Entertainment: Watching TV, movies, plays, concerts or other live sports and entertainment events.
Easy to Use: If they are not easy to use, control and interact with, they are not really worth it.
Portable: Portability is another one of the basic features a good pair of electronic glasses should have. If you cannot carry them with you anywhere you go and move around easily wearing them, it’s pointless, as the aim is to “see clearly and live fully”.
Voice Enabled Usage: Another thing that might help you identify a great pair of eglasses is the voice enabled usage. With everything going handsfree, why not your eglasses? Besides, what kind of ease of use will it be to have your hands constantly engaged with the controls of the gadget. So, voice enabled usage is a must for these.
What eye diseases or eye conditions should these glasses be able to help me with?
While some low quality electronic glasses for low vision might only be able to address low vision problems caused by a few major eye conditions, a great pair should be able to help you with a variety of needs and is suitable for all eye conditions and all levels of vision loss. Should also benefits people with reading fatigue and reading difficulties.
Some common eye diseases that a good pair of eglasses can help you with include:
Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)
Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)
Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum (PXE)
Leber Congenital Amaurosis
Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy
Best Macular Dystrophy
What can be some of the most basic traits differentiating a good pair of eglasses from an ordinary one?
As they say, the devil is in the details. With the sort of technology available nowadays, reverse-engineering is a common way of manufacturing gadgetry without really having the sound technological knowledge-base and prowess to back it. So, it is quite imperative that a credible manufacturer outclasses their ordinary competitors in some key areas; for example: Top Level Research Collaboration: Since this kind of venture needs to take into account the ongoing medical research and technological advancements, a credible eglasses manufacturer must have associations with some of the world’s best medical institutes and universities.
Best Technological Assistance: With technology advancing in leaps and bounds nowadays, staying abreast with all of that has become a specialist’s job. So, it’s better to consider electronic glasses by someone who boasts of some of the world’s best technology providers’ collaboration.
Premiere Build Quality: Build quality can also be considered as one of the best criteria to determine the tenability of a manufacturer. Comparing electronic glasses, there must be apparent and certain difference not only the look and feel of a quality device and a cheap one, but also how it would function and the type of user controls it would offer.
FDA Approval: You simply don’t need to consider buying a pair if it is not registered and approved by the Food and Drug Administration as FDA Class-1 medical device. If FDA has not approved any device, it means you can potentially harm yourself using it, especially when something as critical as your sight is at stake.
Will these be able to support my changing vision needs over time?
Yes, and if that’s not the case, you should switch to a better version of electronic glasses for low vision, because you won’t have the time, energy or even financial resources to continue buying different types of electronic eyeglasses every few months to compensate for such changes.
Can I expect remote support with good quality electronic glasses for visually impaired?
Since a product like this requires a host of different elements and aspects working together, the possibility of any of them displaying unexpected or new behavior cannot be ruled out completely. So, you must have 24/7 remote access to set things right for you immediately rather than sending your electronic eyewear back to the company or visiting a store for fixes.
Can such a device help visually challenged people socialize as well?
Social isolation and disengagement is one of the most unfortunate side effects of vision loss. The good news is that some of the topnotch electronic glasses for visually impaired offer features like camera, photo gallery and even video player to help legally blind people reconnect themselves with the loved ones and the world around them.
Are there any payment plans or insurance covers for electronic glasses for the blind?
You should expect some sort of flexible payment plans or insurance coverage for top quality electronic eyewear.
Can I ask them for a demo?
They shouldn’t hesitate one bit in offering you a free demo, especially if they are really confident of their product/service. Even if you don’t buy a pair right away, they will still be getting some much needed appreciation and promotion.
Can I use electronic glasses for visually impaired while I am mobile?
In fact, you can count on this aspect for differentiating between a good pair of electronic glasses for the blind and a not-so-good one, since the true objective of a viable pair of electronic glasses is to offer as much ease and independence as possible in helping legally blind and visually impaired see and interact with the world around them. They should help you with:
Going for walks
Reading different types of texts, from newspapers and magazines to restaurant menus and road signs
Using computers and other work-related tools and gadgets
Moving around in public transport (including air travel) by yourself
Enjoying your hobbies like knitting and gardening
While here is a side-by-side comparison between some of the top brands of electronic glasses, if you’re interested in knowing more about how you can improve yours or a loved one’s life, contact us here for a detailed personalized response.