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17 June 2014

IGA comments on Smartphone glasses covered in press today

17 June 2015

There has been widespread coverage today, on the development of Smartphone glasses that can help people registered blind to use their remaining sight. The glasses are still in development. The new technology will be useful for people diagnosed with Reginitis Pigmentosa, Diabetic Retinopathy, Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Cataracts. It will not benefit people with glaucoma. The Chair of IGA, Keith Barton explains: “Most of these devices work for patients with damaged retinas in situations where the optic nerve is in reasonably good shape. In other words the eye is capable of transmitting impulses in the brain, but the sensory retina has generally reduced function. By amplifying the signal in some way, the retina can pick up enough to send some information via the optic nerve to the brain.   Glaucoma is completely different in that the retina is fine but the optic nerve is damaged. Either the optic nerve is capable of transmitting information to the brain or it isn’t. It is not a matter of amplifying or modifying the signal. Hence most of these types of aids don’t work for patients with severe glaucoma”. -ends-