Your vision is one of the most essential and indispensable of all your senses. It plays a key role in overcoming daily life challenges, beginning from when you learn to read and write as a child, to becoming a fully independent adult capable of looking after yourself.
But if Ocular Albinism steals your privilege to sight, what are your chances for a normal life?
In the US, around 12 million people (above 40 years of age) have vision impairment, of which 3 million people have defective vision despite the use of corrective devices, and another 4.2 million suffer from uncorrectable vision impairment.
If you are diagnosed with Ocular Albinism, you fall among the latter group whose vision impairment cannot be corrected by any ordinary corrective device. Ocular Albinism typically includes several visual difficulties that range from mild to severe levels.
The extent of vision loss varies across different types of Ocular Albinism. In most cases, the deficits cannot be corrected with prescription glasses, contacts, or surgery alone.
Since Albinism is a group of inherited disorders, it does not have an ultimate cure, the visual abnormalities can be alleviated by minor corrective procedures, such as therapy for strabismus, nystagmus, etc., and low vision aids.
So, can corrective glasses improve low vision with Ocular Albinism?
Yes and no.
Yes, the visual deficits in Ocular Albinism can be corrected with glasses, but No ordinary prescription glasses have the high corrective range required for them, rather they can only be covered by Electronic Low Vision Glasses.
Electronic glasses are state-of-the-art low vision aids that are designed specifically for low vision correction. These electronic low vision glasses share a few common features with regular prescription glasses, but while prescription glasses can not correct low vision, electronic glasses do that effectively and are unique in their characteristic to restore vision even for people who are legally blind.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with Ocular Albinism, and have difficulty seeing then your visual impairment can be catered with the use of Electronic Low Vision Glasses.
What are Electronic Low Vision Glasses?
Electronic low vision glasses, also known as smart glasses, work by harnessing the power of smartphones and virtual reality to help manage low vision. They are slightly heftier than your average spectacles, but are wireless, portable, and are packed with several advanced assistive features.
Electronic low vision glasses differ from prescription glasses in that they are useful for more than just refractive error correction. In addition to high magnification power for refractive error correction, electronic glasses typically contain features such as different color contrasts for reading and viewing, extra-wide field of view, instant auto-focus, light adjustment, etc.
There are several tech companies in the market today that have developed Electronic low vision glasses after extensive medical research. IrisVision is one of these successful companies, which is leading the industry with a cost-effective yet efficacious low vision solution powered by VR.
IrisVision partnered with Samsung to develop a low vision headset, IrisVision Live. It came to be recognized by The New York Times magazine as a ‘technology that bridges the gap to better sight‘. A new model of this device has also been developed, in the form of light weight low vision glasses, IrisVision Inspire.
If you or a loved one suffers from Ocular Albinism, the use of IrisVision electronic glasses can help manage your vision problems and enable you to live a fuller life with clarity and ease.
While most low vision aids are designed to be task-specific, IrisVision’s unique software takes a holistic approach and is fit to use for multiple vision problems.
Let’s take a brief overview of the common symptoms of Ocular Albinism, and how the use of IrisVision electronic glasses can help you overcome them.
Common Symptoms of Ocular Albinism
Some of the typical symptoms of Ocular Albinism are:
Strabismus: Refers to squint eyes. This symptom presents itself as the inability of both eyes to focus at a common point, which creates a double vision of the object in focus, and makes reading and writing tasks especially difficult.
Nystagmus: Is the involuntary movement of the eyes, side-to-side, up and down, or circular motion. It leads to reduced vision.
Refractive Error: People with Ocular Albinism have severely reduced visual acuity, which hinders their ability to perform any activities.
Photophobia: Ocular albinism also characterizes high sensitivity to bright lighting. Going out in the sun or a brightly lit area causes discomfort in the eyes and constricts vision.
Astigmatism: Is the abnormal curvature of the retina, which leads to having distorted vision.
Poor depth perception: People with Ocular Albinism have poor depth perception, meaning that they are unable to estimate distances correctly. This makes them vulnerable to falling over and getting injuries, thus restricting their mobility.
Vision Correction with IrisVision Electronic Glasses
IrisVision electronic glasses have many features that are designed particularly to minimize the symptoms and vision problems that occur in Ocular Albinism. The different modes of viewing can be customized according to your specific visual need. These modes of viewing include:
Scene Mode with Bubble View:
IrisVision’s bubble view can be accessed within the ‘Scene mode’, which allows for a highly magnified view of any desired object while also keeping the whole picture in view. This mode is used mainly for zooming in on something to get a clear and vivid view of what’s around you.
For distance viewing; intermediate, or near tasks, IrisVision has a high-definition industry-leading 77° field of view with up to 14X magnification.
Keeping in mind how low vision can leave you with only a few entertainment options, IrisVision has a ‘Television Mode’ that lets you watch your favorite season or sports channel, and just about anything that is aired on the average television. You can think of it as a regular TV screen that will present you with the same content after tailoring it according to your visual requirements.
With the television mode of IrisVision, you will have a chance to stay in touch with national and global happenings and never miss out on the fun!
When you have trouble with a blurred or unclear view, you can switch to IrisVision’s bioptic mode in which specific sections of your surroundings can be enlarged in a separate window, for clarity and ease of viewing.
This feature can particularly help pick out books from a book rack, or medicines from your cabinet, or when you go grocery shopping, during which you would need to skim through the words across each box.
Reading Modes (Black/White):
The reading mode of IrisVision can be very handy in reading texts that are written against colored backgrounds or have sharp color contrasts that irritate your vision. You can set the brightness levels according to your need and easily read the text written on a medical prescription or a recipe book.
IrisReader (Optical Character Recognition):
Reading is the primary goal for most people with low vision, and IrisVision aims to make it so simple that you don’t have to give it a second thought.
Although the IrisVision headset features high magnification power and reading modes that let you read through text conveniently, there may be times when you require a more efficient system for assistance. (OCR) Optical Character Recognition is one such provision that makes reading incredibly easy, whether it’s to read bills, e-mail, prescriptions, food labels, and more.
This mode requires you to focus on the text which is then read aloud to you by the OCR reader.
IrisVision lets you take snapshots of whatever you view, which are saved in your gallery so that you can view it afterward. Whether it’s a picture of a loved one or information that you may want to read at a later time.
The video mode in IrisVision is yet another provision for you to keep up with your likes, and make the most out of your free time. By using a voice-enabled search that is linked with Google, you can look up anything you want to browse. And also stream entertainment sites such as Netflix or YouTube.
Ocular Albinism is a lifelong condition that leads to deteriorated vision and hampers the independent activity of a person, but modern low vision aids such as IrisVision lets you manage low vision effectively. The different modes allow for better and clearer sight and let you carry on with routine life with greater ease and confidence.