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New Electronic Glasses Improve Vision for Legally Blind


27 May, 2017

There is a new kind of glasses that permits people considered legally blind to see again.

The company eSight created these unusual glasses. They are electronic, and work by flooding the user with huge amounts of visual information.

How they work

A high-speed, high resolution camera is set in the middle of the glasses. It captures video images of whatever is before it. The computer in the glasses immediately processes the video and shows it on two screens in front of the user's eyes. The video is improved by the glasses' technology so that the user is able to see the image.

The glasses also autofocus extremely quickly between short, medium, and long distance vision. This permits the user to move easily from reading a book, to watching TV, to looking out a window.

Jeffrey Fenton is the marketing director for eSight. He says users of the glasses can see things almost as if they had normal vision.

"The devise is almost bombarding the eyes with so much information to send to the brain through the eye that it can present them with a picture that is pretty much what you would see or I would see. It is a true wearable breakthrough for those who are living with vision loss.

A pair of electronic eSight glasses.
A pair of electronic eSight glasses.

Re-entering life

The company says the glasses have what it calls "bioptic tilt capability." This feature lets users adjust the device so they have the best video clarity along with steady side, or peripheral, vision. Such balance in vision help users avoid nausea.

Users are advised to take time to get used to the glasses. In the beginning, they should wear them just a few hours at a time while their eyes adjust.

Giving the world better vision

The World Health Organization says about 285 million people are visually impaired, including 39 million who are blind.

Among that group are the sisters of eSight founder Conrad Lewis. The women are legally blind. Lewis, an engineer, decided to use his skills to help his sisters see.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the eSight glasses. They are costly, however, and insurance companies will not pay for them.

But, user Julissa Marquez says the investment was worth it. Marquez lost most of her eyesight from a stabbing attack in 2013. After more than ten operations she was left with about thirty percent vision in one eye. Through the eSight glasses, however, she says her vision is "amazing."

"...I get to see my son... I am going to see him graduate. I am going to... get to see my grandchildren. That is something huge for me because I love my child. He is my life. He is my world. He is everything."

I'm Phil Dierking

Kevin Enochs wrote this story for VOA News. Phil Dierking adapted the story for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Would these glasses help someone you know? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or on 51VOA.COM.

______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

adjust - v. to change something in a minor way so that it works better

autofocus - n. a device that focuses a camera or other piece of equipment automatically.

bombard - v. to hit or attack something or someone constantly or repeatedly

breakthrough - n. an important discovery that happens after trying for a long time to understand or explain something

impaired - adj. to make something weaker or worse

insurance - n. an agreement in which a person makes regular payments to a company and the company promises to pay money if the person is injured or dies, or to pay money equal to the value of something, such as a house or car, if it is damaged, lost, or stolen

nausea - n. the feeling you have in your stomach when you think you are going to vomit

peripheral - n. of or relating to the area that is to the side of the area you are looking at

screen - n. the usually flat part of a television or computer monitor that shows the images or text

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