November Newsletter No. 328

Accessible in-home displays

RNIB and smart meter display-manufacturer geo have worked with industry, including trade body Energy UK, to develop the accessible in-home display (AIHD).

An AIHD, which works together with a smart meter, allows you to understand how much energy you are using and so can help manage energy bills.

AIHDs have large, tactile buttons, a high-contrast display and a text-to-speech function. Smart meters and the AIHD are available from energy suppliers at no extra cost.

Further details and explanatory video here:

Smoking linked to early vision loss and cataracts

A new brief finds that smokers stand to develop age-related macular degeneration up to 5.5 years earlier than non-smokers. This blurs a person’s central vision making it difficult for them to do everyday tasks like reading or driving. The brief was developed by WHO, together with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and the University of Newcastle.

People who live with tobacco users are twice as likely to develop age-related macular degeneration from second-hand smoke.

More details:

Judy Dench struggles with failing eyesight

Judi Dench is opening up about living with a degenerative eyesight condition, saying that although she is reluctant to retire, she has not been able to do much because she “can’t see.”

The esteemed actor suffers from AMD (age-related macular degeneration), a condition that affects the vision and usually occurs in those in their 50s and 60s, the Independent reported, noting that although it does not cause total blindness, AMD can lead to difficulty in reading and recognizing faces.

Gene therapy rapidly improves night vision in adults with congenital blindness

Adults with a genetic form of childhood-onset blindness experienced striking recoveries of night vision within days of receiving an experimental gene therapy, according to researchers.