Your Fuzzy Spot

I saw something – right now don’t ask me what; short-term memory could stand a little work – that reminded me about eccentric viewing. Did a bit of web research on that. Thought I would share it.

Eccentric viewing is a way for those of us with central vision loss to see better and to even read better. It involves learning how to use points on the retina to do the jobs your macula normally should do. You may have heard these spots on the retina referred to as preferred reading loci.

So basically eccentric viewing is looking at the world a bit off-centered. No matter how cock-eyed you may consider yourself, looking at the world cock-eyed takes a bit of practice. We are naturally inclined to put our maculas right on what we want to look at.

Unfortunately, with AMD, that generally means what we want to look at is exactly what blurs out. Time for a new plan. Time for eccentric viewing.

Nancy Parkin- Bashizi published her webinar on eccentric viewing and how to go about learning the skills. She said you should probably consider eccentric viewing if reading is become difficult for you because of your scotoma. Your scotoma is your blind or fuzzy spot. She also said the three steps in learning eccentric viewing are finding your preferred reading locus, learning and practicing how to use your preferred reading locus and learning to hold your eyes still and instead move the paper. Right now I am keeping my gaze fixed slightly above the line, to the right. To read what I have written I scroll the line on the tablet. I don’t change my gaze.

All of this stuff is in the webinar. Nancy spells out a way to find out where your preferred reading loci are. She points out each of your eyes contains a preferred reading locus, but don’t expect them to anywhere near correspond to one another. You did not expect this to be easy; did you?

While in her webinar Nancy recommends the use of basic, homemade materials, Living Well with Low Vision has their training pages online. It is only a few pages and does not go much past three letter words but may be a good start.

There are commercial products. There is one called MagnaFlyer for which they want $250. Ouch. Once again I am not recommending this. Remember my favorite price for anything is free. Also, I know nothing about the program. If you have been through this program and want to critique it, let us know.

Those of you in the U.K. may have a leg up on us here in the States. According to WebRN-MacularDegeneration.com and their page on eccentric viewing, your Macular Society is a big proponent of eccentric viewing. The video on this page is very informative. The video also talks about Visibility, an organization that appears to be very active in supporting Glaswegians with vision loss.

There is a list of eccentric viewing trainers in the States pretty much right under the Macular Society info. Could have sworn WebRN-MacularDegeneration was British. Dunno. Also, found dozens of resources on AMD listed as WebRN-MacularDegeneration posts. Maybe another good source of info?

O.k. Gotta go. Way over my 500 words. Bye!

Next: coming soon!

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