Highlight: How can we protect our eyes indoors?

I accidentally published this but it’s not done yet!
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Lighting

Artificial lighting is used to simulate the light of the sun indoors.  We need proper lighting not only for vision tasks but for safety.  When the macula is damaged by AMD, not only do we lose our visual acuity but also our ability to process glare and contrast. The range of light made available varies quite a bit, each type with its own benefits and risks (sometimes these are based on scientific research, sometimes opinion & experience). The brightness & type of light is important.  These are the most common types of lighting you can get –  there are others that you’ll see in the links provided below:

  • Full spectrum: You get the entire spectrum just like you do with the sun (infrared, visible, non-visible). This type of lighting is used to grow plants indoors (grow lights) but also to sew and do crafts. It enhances color & contrast but it includes the harmful UVA, UVB and blue light.
  • Incandescent: the most common form of light bulb which provides a yellower, more direct light that is good for close work, like sewing or reading.  There is some blue light emitted.
  • Halogen: produces the brightest and whitest light. For some people with low vision, it can enhance contrast between print and background, but for others they generate too much glare. It also generates a lot of heat.
  • LED (Liquid Electrical Display): The newest form of lighting.  The quality of light provided is excellent, the color of the light is not damaging to the eyes (has no UV rays), the bulbs are long-lasting (eg, with 8 hours a day, an LED light could last 14 years) and there are no hot lamp surfaces or bulbs. They do, however, emit blue light.  For that reason, some people do not use them.  
  • Fluorescent : casts blue-white light evenly and without shadows over a wide area. Because it generates a lot of light without using a lot of electricity, it is the type of lighting most often used in public places, such as supermarkets or offices. But it can create increased glare.

Here are some links to helpful sources regarding indoor lighting.

Lens Coatings/screen protectors to filter out harmful rays

Not only do we have to protect our eyes outdoors but also indoors.   We’ve talked about the type of light that can be made available but there are two more considerations:

  • what if you can’t control the lighting in your environment, eg, you work where there are flourescent lighting that causes glare or full spectrum light which emits blue light?
  • We are getting harmful blue light from our computers, tablets, cell phones, TVs, etc.

glasses

https://www.lowbluelights.com/index.asp

Not all amber lens filter blue light

http://www.cocoonseyewear.com/sunwear/category.php?id=53

https://www.paleohacks.com/sleep/will-plain-red-or-orange-lenses-block-blue-light-for-sleep-17104

 

 

 

 

Is blue light keeping you up at night? We ask the experts

AM and PM lights for sleep/wake

http://pressroom.gelighting.com/news/ge-redefines-lighting-with-ge-alignTM-lighting-aiding-natural-sleep-cycle#.VvlH6OIrLIU

 

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401620/Do-Orange-Glasses-Block-Blue-Light.html

 

 

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Highlight: What about stem cell research?

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This is a very promising but complicated subject.

 

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Highlight: How do I pay for treatments?

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Some injections and other treatments are expensive and not always covered by insurance.  Here is a list of Patience Assistance Resources from the American Society of Retina Specialists.

Click here to see their list of Patience Assistance Resources

US Medicare & Medicaid coverage

coming soon!

US Other insurances

coming soon!

UK National Health System (NHS)

coming soon!

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Highlight: What about the accessibility features of Apple products?

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http://www.applevis.com/

http://iaccessibility.net/about/A

Empowering Blind and Low-Vision Users of Apple Products and Related Application

ipad user forum

blog, Podcasts (under maintenance)

Hadley School for the blind instructional videos: playlist https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcIupCht58IcZ8m3fS4fScuB8phKEcdSi

Versions before IOS8

 

Version IOS8

http://visionloss.org.au/ios-8-accessibility-improvements/

 

 

 

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Highlight: Why am I seeing what I am seeing?

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Example of Charles Bonnet Syndrome http://li129-107.members.linode.com/about-low-vision-blindness/vision-disorders/charles-bonnet-syndrome
Example of Charles Bonnet Syndrome
http://li129-107.members.linode.com/about-low-vision-blindness/vision-disorders/charles-bonnet-syndrome

https://discoveryeye.org/blog/seeing-images-that-arent-there/

http://www.visionaware.org/blog/visionaware-blog/charles-bonnet-syndrome-visual-hallucinations-are-my-constant-companions-by-visionaware-peer-advisor-sheila-rousey/12?_ga=1.11408372.1794517708.1458748237

New Research

http://www.visionaware.org/blog/visionaware-blog/new-research-from-canada-approximately-one-in-five-persons-with-vision-loss-experience-visual-hallucinations/12

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Highlight: How do I know when my vision changes?

 

Amsler Grid

amslergrid  From EyeScience Labs

Apple Apps to check vision

AMD Eye not only has an Amsler Grid but also has a lot of educational information including symptoms, risk factors & treatment.  There are links to help you find a retina doctor.  You can also schedule an alert so that you are reminded to check the Amsler Grid on a regular basis.

 

 

Android Apps to check vision

Amsler Grid

Central Vision Test

ForeseeHome Monitoring

Click here for information about monitoring which is connected to computer, administers sight test, tracks changes

 

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Highlight: Is AMD genetic?

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There are several aspects of genetics as related to AMD:

  • Familial/hereditary aspects
  • Research to identify genetic markers for AMD
  • Genetics related to the effects of high zinc in AREDS vitamins formulations.

Heredity

Statistic for those with family history of AMD, lifetime risk for developing late stage AMD is 50% for people who have AMD versus 12% for people who don’t have relative with AMD; that’s 4 times the risk of AMD if a relative has or has had it.

Genetic markers

Overview of one research study that has isolated some genetic markers for AMD

Genetics & AREDS vitamins

For those with the intermediate stage of dry AMD, the high dose of zinc (80mg) can help some people but hurt others. There are genetic tests that help determine if a person can be helped or hurt by the AREDS/AREDS2 vitamins.

Click here to read more about this genetic test.

Breaking news: vitamins may be harmful to some people

Press release MDA: warning about zinc in AREDS/AREDS2 formulas

Genetic Testing

Lists the tests available and the important role of genetic counseling after testing

 

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