December Newsletter 314

Warning Signs of sight loss could be identified before vision deteriorates

A new study has shown that the signs of age related macular degeneration can set in earlier than previously thought – even before patients begin to lose their sight. The findings open the door for research into earlier treatment that could help slow down the onset of the condition – the most common cause of sight loss in the western world. Full details below:

What it’s like to drive with eye conditions like myopia and cataracts

A series of terrifying images have revealed the blurry and distorted views seen by drivers with eye conditions including short sightedness, cataractsand glaucoma. The College of Optometrists released the mock-ups after research found that a quarter of British drivers have unwisely driven without their prescribed glasses. Moreover, they said, half of drivers in the UK are unaware that doing so is illegal and can attract penalties including a fine, driving ban or even time in prison. Full details:

Metro partners with RNIB for UK’s first braille front cover

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Metronewspaper have partnered to create the first braille cover for a UK nationally distributed newspaper. December 3 marked the International Day of Disabled People, so RNIB felt it was fitting to highlight the issue of accessibilityMetro will be distributing 15,000 special editions across nine central London locations including at Kings Cross station. The cover-wrap will feature a braille message for blind or partially sighted people, highlighting that the world is still some way off from being truly accessible. Meanwhile, the inside cover will carry a QR code where non-visually-impaired readers can find out more about how people who are blind or partially sighted see things differently and learn what the braille cover says.

Bull’s-eye maculopathy

Bull’s-eye maculopathy is a term used to describe the appearance of a target’s bull’s-eye ring on a damaged retina, an essential part of the eye that helps with sight. This damage can be caused by different eye conditions or long-term use of certain drugs that suppress the immune system. Bull’s-eye maculopathy can appear at any age, and lead to mild or more serious vision lossthat’s usually irreversible. The article in the link below provides an overview of bull’s-eye maculopathy and the conditions that can cause it.

The bionic eye that could restore sight in some people is starting human trials

In a three-month study, a bionic eye developed by a team of biomedical researchers from the University of Sydney and UNSW proved to be safe and robust for long-term implantation, clearing the way for human trials.