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Scientists Study Piano Player with Blindness
blindnessImprovisational musician, Matthew Whitaker, may be living with blindness; however, a neuroscientist has discovered that Whitaker's visual cortex goes into overdrive when he plays the piano. The prodigy jazz pianist has lived with blindness since the age of 11. Whitaker lost his vision due to retinopathy of prematurity, a disease that can lead to blindness.

Whitaker's talents caught the attention of Dr. Charles Limb, a surgeon and neuroscientist. Dr. Limb uses MRI brain scans to find out how exceptionally creative people like Whitaker can shine.

"I think anytime somebody watches Matthew play piano the first thing that you think is, 'How does he do that?' Except rather than just wondering I'm actually trying to answer the question," Limb said.

SDCB offers several programs and services for men and women living with blindness and vision loss. Please contact us to learn more.

"Meet the blind piano player who's so good, scientists are studying him"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
A Prom Proposal Made in Braille
BrailleUsing Hershey's Kisses and poster board, Jake Schwartz asked his girlfriend to prom in Braille. Jake, a high school junior, made his proposal to Paige Drury in Braille; the two have been dating since the ninth grade. Paige is blind, so it was fitting for Schwartz to ask her to prom in Braille.

"I thought the promposal was really awesome," said Drury. "Since it's only February, I really wasn't expecting it to happen at all, which made it even better. It makes me feel so happy that someone cares about me enough to make the moment as special as possible."

If you are blind or struggling with vision loss, then please reach out to SDCB for help.

"See this teen's sweet braille promposal for girlfriend who is blind"

Posted in Braille | View Post
Preventing Blindness from Rare Eye Diseases
blindnessDid you know that Rare Disease Day is tomorrow, February 29, 2020. Naturally, many rare diseases that affect the eye can lead to blindness and vision loss. In honor of the observance, Prevent Blindness is offering free resources and fact sheets to help save sight from inflammatory eye diseases and conditions. The organization is focusing on two rare eye diseases: Uveitis and Keratitis.

Uveitis is a group of inflammatory diseases that destroys eye tissues in the uvea (the middle layer of the eye that contains most blood vessels), according to the National Eye Institute. Keratitis is inflammation of the cornea—the transparent, protective outer layer of the eye.

If you are living with vision loss or blindness, SDCB can help. Please contact us to learn more.

"Prevent Blindness Offers New Educational Resources on Uveitis and Keratitis for Rare Disease Day"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Research Breakthrough for Leading Cause of Blindness
blindnessA team of researchers from Queen Mary University of London found a new protein linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The findings could help with diagnosing and treating the disease. AMD impacts over 1.5 million people in the UK and is one of the leading causes of blindness globally.

"This study really is a step-change in our understanding of how complement activation drives this major blinding disease," said Professor Simon Clark, a specialist in the regulation of the complement system in health and disease at the University of Manchester. "Up until now, the role played by FHR proteins in disease has only ever been inferred. But now we show a direct link and, more excitingly, become a tangible step closer to identifying a group of potential therapeutic targets to treat this debilitating disease."

San Diego Center for the Blind can help you or a loved one regain some independence. Please contact us to learn more about our programs.

"International team delivers research breakthrough for leading cause of blindness"

Posted in Research and Medical Advancements | View Post
Stroke and TBI Blindness
blindnessA new study shows that visual rehabilitation is useful for patients who have suffered vision loss or blindness due to strokes or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine found the NeuroEyeCoach visual rehabilitation therapy improved vision in over 80 percent of patients who experienced a stroke or TBI.

"Up to recently, there was very little treatment available to restore vision loss in this population," said Jose Romano, Chief of the Stroke Division at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, noting that while stroke and TBI patients regain some vision on their own, but "very few regain it completely."

Please contact SDCB if you are struggling with vision loss or blindness in California. We offer many programs and services that can improve your quality of life.

"Vision rehab treatment effective for stroke and injury related blindness"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Zebrafish Could Cure Blindness in the Future
blindnessAge-related macular degeneration affects 11 million people in the U.S., and it is one of the leading causes of blindness. However, new research suggests that zebrafish can help scientists cure blindness. The fish have the ability to regenerate their retinas, which could help researchers do the same for humans.

"Zebrafish, unlike mammals, are able to regenerate parts of their retina if they become injured," Vanderbilt Vision Research Center director Dr. David Calkins said.

We invite you to contact SDCB if you are struggling with vision loss to learn more about our programs and services.

“Amazing zebrafish cure human blindness: Medicine's next big thing?”

Posted in Eye Disease - Macular Degeneration | View Post
Gene Therapy for Vision Loss
vision lossPatients with a rare inherited eye disorder that causes vision loss and blindness are being treated with a new form of gene therapy. Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec) is a drug from Novartis that carries a steep price—£600,000. However, NHS England has negotiated a lower price with the manufacturer.

The therapy is for patients who have retinal dystrophy; it’s the result of inheriting a faulty copy of the RPE65 gene. The Luturna injection can stop disease progression and may even improve vision.

If you require assistance with vision loss, then please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs.

“Gene therapy to halt rare form of sight loss”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Helping Visually Impaired People Read
visually impairedVisually impaired men and women benefit from the assistance of sighted people. The Braille Association of Mid-Florida is assisting individuals in accessing novels in Braille, whether they live in Florida or Sweden. Volunteers associated with the Braille Association of Mid-Florida transcribe books, classroom handouts, and worksheets into Braille for the visually impaired.

“When you take braille out of the picture for a blind individual, you take away literacy,” said Marianne Witengier, a former teacher of visually impaired students in Orange County, Florida, and president of the Braille Association of Mid-Florida. “So we’re focused so that every child who needs Braille has the opportunity. That’s our focus.”

Please reach out to the San Diego Center for the blind if you are visually impaired or experiencing vision loss. We offer several innovative programs that can improve your quality of life.

“When visually impaired students have the need to read, these volunteers are there to help”

Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
Drug Could Prevent Blindness
blindnessThyroid eye disease is a condition that can cause blindness. Inflammation in the back of the eye makes them bulge and may also squeeze the optic nerve, causing blindness, according to Dr. Raymond Douglas, a professor of surgery in the division of ophthalmology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Douglas is the lead author of a study that involves a new drug that may prevent thyroid eye disease for causing blindness. Teprotumumab is still awaiting FDA approval.

"Teprotumumab was extraordinarily effective. We hope that people with thyroid eye disease won't have to suffer as they have in the past. With treatment, they're not going to be blind. They're not going to be disfigured. They can even watch their kids playing soccer when it's windy," Douglas explained.

SDCB can help improve your quality of life if you are living with blindness or vision loss. Please reach out to learn more about our innovative services.

"New Drug Could Stop Thyroid Eye Disease Blindness”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Blindness Would Not Stand in the Way of Marriage
blindnessZaheer Ahmad Zindani is an Afghan poet who was hit by a Taliban roadside bomb while riding in a bus when he was 17. His sister died as a result of her injuries; Zindani was left living in blindness. However, Zindani's mother was determined not to let blindness stand in the way of marriage. Her goal was not easy to accomplish.

"They would all say, 'We would happily agree if he hadn't been blind,'" Mr. Zindani recalled. "My mother would say, 'His eyes will be fixed.' They would say, 'Come back when they are fixed.'"

If you need assistance with vision loss, then please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs.

"His Mother Worked to Find Him Love Despite War, Blindness and Loss"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Adding Braille to Transit Locations
BrailleBraille is essential to men and women living with vision loss or blindness. The raised dot allows people to read books and navigate through the world. In Canada, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is adding braille to ten transit locations closely spaced out as part of a new trial.

"The purpose of these signs is to assist people with low or no vision to locate and wait at the appropriate transit stop in locations where there are two transit stop poles within close proximity of each other (around a bus length apart) along a particular block," reads a description of the project on the TTC's website. "The addition of these signs will help to distinguish which routes board at the individual stops, combined with the verification of external stop announcements."

San Diego Center for the Blind offers programs that can help improve your life quality. Please reach out to us to learn more.

"TTC to install Braille transit signs at select stops"

Posted in Braille | View Post
WVU Spreads Awareness About a Leading Cause of Blindness
blindnessDid you know that diabetic retinopathy is a primary cause of blindness for people ages 20 to 65 in America? Doctors at the West Virginia Practice-Based Research Network's Sight Outreach Program are working hard to spread awareness about the condition and helping detect it in patients early.

"Patients with diabetes are supposed to get an eye evaluation annually, however, in West Virginia only about 60 percent received eye care in the past year," Dr. William Lewis, family medicine physician at Harpers Ferry Family Medicine and WVPBRN co-director, said in the release. "This IRIS program removes barriers to access that often prevent people from getting these exams and can help us bring the best care possible to persons with diabetes."

SDCB offers several innovative programs for people living with blindness or vision loss. Please contact us to learn more about our services.

"WVU doctors making impact on blindness, diabetes"

Posted in Eye Disease - Diabetic Retinopathy | View Post
Succeeding Despite Blindness
blindnessBlindness did not stop Charles King from becoming the oldest blind powerlifter in the nation. In the wake of his blindness, King became very depressed and turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. His story isn't unique, but what King was able to accomplish is nothing short of remarkable. The VA helped him learn to cope, and he was able to put his life back together.

Please contact the San Diego Center for the Blind to learn more about our innovative programs.

"This record-breaking powerlifter overcame blindness and homelessness"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Making Memes Accessible to the Blind
blindSighted people are all too familiar with memes; the internet is littered with the viral posts. From funny to disturbing, memes connect us with one another in a myriad of ways. However, blind people are still not able to enjoy memes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), for the 2.2 billion people worldwide who report visual impairments or blindness, memes are one of the thousands of images on the internet that are inaccessible.

"There's a tendency in accessibility-related fields for people to focus on making the workplace accessible, and making transportation accessible, because those are daily needs," says Cole Gleason, a Ph.D. candidate at Carnegie Mellon University and the co-author of Making Memes Accessible. "And people usually leave the recreational or silly or leisure activities to the later stages of accessibility, so humor was definitely not high on people's priority lists."

Please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs for the blind and visually impaired.

"'I Wish We Could Connect on This Level.' Memes Still Aren't Accessible to People Who Are Blind. What's Being Done About It?"

Posted in Blind | View Post
Mobile Devices Help People Living With Vision Loss
vision lossDevices like iPads and smartphones are assisting millions of people who are living with vision loss. There exist free and paid mobile apps such as Aira and Microsoft's Seeing AI. These applications enable individuals with vision loss to navigate and identify various people and objects. Assistive technology is improving people's quality of life, quality at home and around town.

"Access to so many options has provided me with a sense of choice and freedom that I felt I had lost. It's empowering," says Chris Lockley.

If you are living with vision loss, then please contact SDCB for assistance. We offer many innovative programs.

“Assistive Technology Lab to Empower Individuals with Vision Loss”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
AI Could Help Doctors Treat Vision Loss
vision lossScientists are using artificial intelligence with the hopes of being able to assist doctors in choosing the ideal treatment for patients with vision loss, specifically individuals who have diabetic macular edema. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of vision loss among adults in the United States and beyond. The researchers are using AI to analyze retinal images.

"Our approach could potentially be used in eye clinics to prevent unnecessary and costly trial-and-error treatments and thus alleviate a substantial treatment burden for patients," said research team leader Sina Farsiu from Duke University. "The algorithm could also be adapted to predict therapy response for many other eye diseases, including neovascular age-related macular degeneration."

Please contact SDCB if you are experiencing vision loss. We offer many programs and services that can help.

"Artificial intelligence predicts treatment outcome for diabetes-related vision loss"

Posted in Research and Medical Advancements | View Post
Playing Sports While Living With Blindness
blindnessMost people cannot imagine what it’s like to play a sport with vision loss or blindness, but thousands of individuals manage remarkable feats on the field or ice. Playing sports while living with blindness takes dedication and determination.

Kurt Sloop is a goalball athlete and a board member of the Metro Washington Association of Blind Athletes. Charlie Mitchell is a hockey player with the Washington Blind Hockey Club and a member of the USA Blind Hockey team. The two athletes sat down for an interview to talk about how people who are blind or visually impaired can get involved with sports.

Please contact SDCB to learn more about our vision rehabilitation programs. We can help you improve your life quality.

“From Blind Hockey To Goalball: Playing Sports With Vision Loss”

Posted in Blind Athlete | View Post
Teenager Accomplishes Much Despite Blindness
blindnessBlindness is an obstacle to be sure, but it does not have to stop people from achieving remarkable feats. Fifteen-year-old Rylea Fields may have accomplished more than much older people. Fields was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. Even though she has lost her vision, she is a cheerleader and a gymnast. What's more, she helps other young people who are living with disabilities.

"I think we're all given talents and things we're good at and we should share those things with others," Rylea added. "That's why we're here. If we can make life better for others, put a smile on someone's face and keep the fairytale alive for someone, it's what we should do."

SDCB helps people living with vision loss and blindness. Our programs and services can significantly improve your quality of life.

"Blindness didn't stop Mansfield Legacy sophomore from cheer, gymnastics, helping others"

Posted in Blind and Vision Impaired Heroes Stories | View Post
Flu Causes Blindness
blindnessFlu vaccinations can stave off blindness. A four-year-old girl in Iowa lost her vision recently after contracting the flu. Jade DeLucia contracted the flu a few days before Christmas and spent nearly two weeks in the intensive care unit. The young girl almost died, so her parents now have a message they would like to share with the world. The message is: Get your children vaccinated.

"If I can stop one child from getting sick, that's what I want to do," said Amanda Phillips, Jade's mother. "It's terrible to see your child suffer like this."

Are you living with vision loss or blindness? If so, please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs and services.

"Flu leaves a 4-year-old girl blind in Iowa"

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Using Computers While Living With Blindness
blindnessTwo blind women living with blindness provide computer training and job services to people with disabilities at a nonprofit called Donka. Ann Byrne and Kimberly Delaney in the suburbs of Chicago are helping others succeed. Byrne lost her vision from congenital glaucoma. Delaney lost all vision in one eye from injuries sustained during a Vietnam War massacre; she went completely blind because of leukemia, which may be the result of Agent Orange exposure.

"Nobody knows your potential," Byrne says. "You have to work for it. Here at Donka, we give our students tools."

Please contact SDCB if you are struggling with vision loss or blindness. We offer several programs that can improve your life quality.

"Blindness, disabilities no obstacle to computer use at Wheaton nonprofit"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Helping the Visually Impaired
visually impairedBlind and visually impaired people benefit from community support. Those who are living with eye diseases and conditions in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, now have support groups. Such residents living in the area can join the Blindness Support Group and meet once a month to learn how to overcome barriers specific to their disability.

"When people go blind — and by that I mean the whole range of vision loss — they feel very isolated," said Jonathan Ice, the group's founder. "They feel like they're the only one going through this.

If you are visually impaired, then San Diego Center for the Blind can help you in several ways. Please contact us to learn more.

"Cedar Rapids group formed to support blind, visually impaired residents"

Posted in Blindness and Vision Impairment | View Post
Cataract Surgery for Animals
cataractAnimals are susceptible to vision problems, just like humans. A gorilla named Leslie residing at the San Diego Zoo recently underwent cataract surgery. The three-year-old gorilla is the first at the zoo ever to receive lens replacement surgery. The procedure was conducted by a University of California at San Diego surgical team.

"In babies, they've demonstrated that, if you do not correct cataracts quickly, the brain actually starts shutting sight to the affected eye," said San Diego Zoo associate veterinarian Dr. Meredith Clancy. "Gorillas are very social and, in the future, she will need to find a mate, she will want to raise a family. We just didn't want this to get in the way of her chances to live a full, happy life."

If you need assistance for vision loss, please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs and services.

"Leslie, a Safari Park gorilla, undergoes cataract surgery"

Posted in Blindness and Animals | View Post
January is Braille Literacy Month
BrailleOn top of Glaucoma Awareness Month, January is also Braille Literacy Month. We celebrate and honor the birthday of Louis Braille, who was born on January 4th, 1809, this month. January 4th was also National World Braille Day. Louis Braille was twelve years old when he discovered the braille code. In the 21st Century, new technology has allowed Braille to be more accessible for people living with blindness.

"You can create a document, you can go to the internet, you can check emails," says Zahia Althabata, Assistive Technology Instructor at East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind. "And you can download books to read."

Please contact SDCB if you need assistance with vision loss or blindness. We offer many innovative programs.

"Celebrating the 'code:' January is Braille Literacy Month"

Posted in Braille | View Post
EnChroma for Low Vision
low visionLow vision is any deterioration in one's sight that cannot be corrected by glasses or surgery. While the company EnChroma is known for its smart glasses for color blindness, they just released a new line for people living with low vision. The EnChroma® Lx Series will also assist people with age-related eye conditions.

The company will feature its new line at the Opti Munich 2020 International Trade Show for Optics and Design on January 10-12, 2020.

"Until now, the low vision options available to patients have been limited," said Mark Mattison-Shupnick, Master Optician and Vice President of Business Development for EnChroma. "EnChroma's new offering for low vision features a unique spectral filter that reduces the intensity of white light while transmitting colors up to two times brighter than an average lens. A patient using the new lens will experience superior glare reduction and comfort, as well as enhanced color and contrast, which can aid mobility and safety."

Are you struggling with vision loss or blindness? If so, then please reach out to SDCB at your earliest convenience.

"EnChroma Introduces Line of Lenses for Low Vision and Age-Related Eye Conditions"

Posted in Assistive and Vision Loss Technology and Products | View Post
Shedding Light on Glaucoma
glaucomaEven though millions of Americans have glaucoma, a condition that damages the optic nerve, most people are not aware they have the eye disease. It's no wonder that people often refer to the condition as the "sneak thief of sight." During National Glaucoma Awareness Month, it's vital to teach the general public about this disorder.

The majority of people fail to realize they have the condition until it is well-advanced. Peripheral vision is the first to worsen; however, "the visual acuity or sharpness of vision is maintained until late in the disease," according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation.

Please contact SDCB if vision rehabilitation programs can improve your life quality.

"Many Americans don't realize they're going blind"

Posted in Glaucoma | View Post
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month
glaucomaGlaucoma or the "sneak thief of sight" impacts more than 3.2 million Americans age 40 and over, according to estimates from the Prevent Blindness report, "Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems." Naturally, the number of people who will be affected will steadily increase in the years to come. January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. This month, Prevent Blindness wants to educate the public about glaucoma and its risk factors. The organization also would like to share treatment options.

"The year 2020 is an ideal reminder for all of us to make the resolution today to save our vision for tomorrow," said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. "By detecting vision problems and treating them early, including those from glaucoma, we can help to avoid significant vision impairment."

The San Diego Center for the Blind offers many programs to assist people living with vision loss and blindness. Please contact us to learn more.

"Glaucoma, "The Sneak Thief of Sight," Continues to Affect Vision of Millions of Americans"

Posted in Glaucoma | View Post
Library of Congress Increases Resources for the Blind
blindThe Library of Congress, the most important library in the U.S., announced a significant endowment in support of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS). It will allow the library to increase its resources and services for the blind and visually impaired.

“We are so excited to receive this generous gift from Dr. Diskin and honored by her recognition of our work,” NLS Director Karen Keninger said. “It will allow us to advance our efforts to digitize NLS’s world-class braille music collection much faster and more accurately than we had ever anticipated – a real benefit to the students, teachers, performers and music lovers who use our braille materials.”

SDCB can assist you or a loved one with vision loss or blindness. Please contact us to learn more.

“Library of Congress Announces Major Endowment For The Blind and Print Disabled”

Posted in Resources for Blind and Visually Impaired | View Post
Blind Artist Creates Masterpieces
blindIn January, a legally blind artist’s works will be on display at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. This will be the first time that Therese Verner will show her art in San Diego. Verner has myopic macular degeneration in her right eye and glaucoma. Despite being legally blind, she was able to teach herself how to paint.

The exhibit, “Art to Brighten Your Life,” will open on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.

Please reach out to SDCB if you would like to learn more about our vision rehabilitation programs.

“Legally blind artist seeks to ‘Brighten Your Life’ with PCPA art exhibit”

Posted in Arts and Culture | View Post
Preventing Blindness on December 31st
blindnessNew Year’s Eve is just around the corner, which means that countless bottles of champagne will be opened around the world. We hope that you understand the dangers that corks can pose to your eyes. Always point the champagne bottle away from your face when opening. A champagne cork travels at around 50 mph and can shatter glass. If it hits you in the eye, it can cause abrasion, intraocular bleeding, cataract, glaucoma, and retinal detachment, which can lead to blindness.

We invite you to contact SDCB if you require vision loss rehabilitation or assistance with blindness.

“Focus on Eyes: Popping a cork can cause blindness”

Posted in Advocacy and Events | View Post
Today Anchor On The Mend from Vision Loss
vision lossIf you watch the Today show, then you are familiar with the anchor Savannah Guthrie. You might be aware that she recently experienced severe eye trauma. Her retina was damaged when her 3-year-old son Charley stabbed her in the eye with a toy train.

Guthrie, 48, hoped to avoid surgery and vision loss, but laser treatments were unsuccessful, and doctors decided a full retinal surgery on her right eye was necessary.

“The retinal tear had deteriorated sharply, and I lost my vision,” said Guthrie. “And that’s what happens if you don’t fix this: You lose your sight.”

The San Diego Center for the Blind can help you or a loved one regain your independence. Our vision rehabilitation programs can improve your quality of life.

“Savannah Guthrie on Her Difficult Eye Surgery and ‘Challenging’ Recovery: ‘It’s Pretty Ghastly’”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Foundation for Blind Children Prison Braille Program
BrailleBraille allows people living with vision loss and blindness to gain knowledge through reading. What many people who rely on Braille do not know is that prisoners in Arizona make many of the books available. The Foundation for Blind Children’s Prison Braille Program involves inmates who transcribe books into Braille.

The program certifies prisoners to transcribe Braille in order to create textbooks, tests, and quizzes for blind students in Arizona for free.

SDCB can assist you or a loved one with vision loss or blindness; please contact us to learn more.

“Braille Behind Bars: Blind Arizonans receive textbooks made by prisoners”

Posted in Braille | View Post
Navy Shines Light on Blindness
blindnessAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four adults or 61 million people in the United States are living with a disability. In October, Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) joined the country in celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The NNSY hosted two events that focused on “invisible disabilities” such as vision loss and blindness.

Guest speaker Dr. Debbie Pfeiffer, Director of Outreach Programs, for the Virginia School of the Deaf and the Blind, discussed the Courtesy Rules of Blindness published by the National Foundation of the Blind. The handbook offers tips for sighted people to reference when interacting with a person who is blind or vision impaired. Here’s an example:

“Understand – I may not recognize your voice. If I don’t know you well, please say, ‘Hi, it’s Sue.’” Another was, “Experience – I probably have years of experience using nonvisual techniques to live my life. Feel free to ask me how I do something, or how best you can assist me if help is needed.”

Please contact SDCB if you are living with vision loss or blindness. We have programs that can improve your quality of life.

“Norfolk Naval Shipyard Disability Awareness Committee ERG Shines a Light on Invisible Disabilities”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Tattoos and Vision Loss
vision lossThe Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH) warns about a link between tattoos and a severe eye condition that can lead to vision loss. Uveitis affects the inner structures of the eye; it can cause pain, redness, and blurry vision. Associate Professor Lyndell Lim says:

"The public health message should be to consider your vision in addition to other potential health risks when getting a tattoo and if you do have symptoms of uveitis, act quickly to seek specialist care."

Please contact SDCB if you require assistance for vision loss. We offer many effective programs.

"Eye Experts Warn Of Link Between Tattoos And Vision Loss"

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Marvel Comic Book in Braille
BrailleMarvel's Heroes Project's "Unstoppable Adonis" is a comic book about a young high school football running back named Adonis. The young athlete is entirely blind; and, the comic book is fittingly available in Braille.

"What caught our attention about Adonis' story is that a whole community came together around him to support his dream - and that he's doing things off the field to show that visual disability doesn't hold people back from making their dreams reality," Liza Wyles, Executive Producer of Marvel's Hero Project and Director, Development for Marvel New Media.

If your quality of life is suffering due to vision loss, then we invite you to contact SDCB.

"Inside MARVEL's First Braille Comic, Inspired by Football Player with Blindness"

Posted in Blind Library - Books | View Post
Playing Hockey with Blindness
blindnessCarl Soderberg plays for the Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League. What makes Soderberg unique is that he's legally blind in his left eye. His vision was compromised in 2006 when an opponent's stick hit his eye and detached his retina leaving him living with blindness.

"It was a little different on the eyes, I was scared, afraid to get hit again," he said. "It took me a couple years to fully get back."

San Diego Center for the Blind offers several vision rehabilitation programs. Please contact us to learn more.

"Coyotes' Soderberg thriving despite blindness in left eye"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
A Daily Schedule in Braille
BrailleVisually impaired students may soon benefit from a Braille daily schedule. It was created by the 3D Tech Doves, an all-girls team from Christine Donnell School of the Arts, by using 3D printed plastic letters and number tiles. They call their invention the Teacher Classroom Kit. It’s "usable to visually impaired students so they can be more independent," Amber McVey, the girls mentor said.

"I feel really good, I think we did a really good job and helped a lot of people," Hailey Harwell, member of the 3D Tech Doves said.

SDCB offers many programs that can significantly assist people living with visual impairments. Please contact us to learn more.

“Boise all-girls 3D printing team wins competition for creating a Braille daily schedule”

Posted in Braille | View Post
Field Hockey Player Determined to Play Following Vision Loss
vision lossIn November, a British Olympic field hockey hopeful sustained a significant injury when he was hit in the face by a ball. The damage resulted in vision loss in his left eye. After surgery and seeing eye specialists, Sam Ward is committed to playing for his country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"Reports that I am retiring are completely not true and never were true," Ward said. "It's rumor mill... I do have some sight loss in my left eye but I still have peripheral vision and a fully functioning right eye."

If you require assistance for vision loss or blindness, then please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs.

“Olympic hopeful vows to play field hockey again after ball fractures his face, causes vision loss”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Preventing River Blindness
blindnessOnchocerciasis is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused by the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus. It is transmitted through bites by blackflies and it is common in Africa. The worm attacks the eyes and causes visual impairment or blindness. The World Health Organization (WHO) would like to eradicate this preventable and treatable condition by 2030.

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame conducted a study that involved mathematic modeling which found that a combination of mass drug distribution and removing vegetation may be the most effective method of curbing transmission.

“Modeling is a powerful tool to synthesize myriad information about parasite transmission,” said lead author Edwin Michael, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Notre Dame. “Once we obtain a working model, we have the capability to do forecasting into the future, and we can also use the available short-term, limited data to present decision makers with new information that is not otherwise available.”

SDCB offers several vision rehabilitation services that can improve your quality of life. Please contact us to learn more.

“Study: Transmission of river blindness may be reduced when vegetation is removed”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Technology Helps People With Low Vision
low visionLow vision is defined as significant visual impairment that can't be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, medication, or eye surgery. However, technology is allowing people living with visual impairments, IrisVision utilizes a virtual reality headset and smartphone to helps users living with low vision see things better.

"This technology that now is available is so exciting, to provide to this capability of using one device for multiple distances and for patients to be independent again," said Dr. Nancy Amir, a low-vision optometrist.

San Diego Center for the Blind can assist you or a loved one with low vision. Please contact us to learn more.

“IrisVision low-vision glasses help people see again”

Posted in Low Vision | View Post
Vitamin B3 and Vision Loss
vision lossOver-the-counter niacin or Vitamin B3 can cause vision loss if it is taken in high doses. Researchers at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE) found that Vitamin B3 can result in a rare toxic reaction known as niacin-induced cystoid maculopathy (a type of retinal swelling). Findings published in the fall issue of the Journal of VitreoRetinal Diseases suggest that discontinuing use can reverse the effects of retinal swelling.

"People often live by the philosophy that if a little bit is good, more should be better. This study shows how dangerous large doses of a commonly used over-the-counter medication can be," said lead investigator Richard Rosen, MD, Chief of Retina Services at NYEE and the Mount Sinai Health System. "People who depend on vision for their livelihood need to realize there could be long-lasting consequences from inadvertent overdosing on this vitamin."

If vision loss is impacting your life, please contact SDCB to learn more about our services and programs.

“Severe Vision Loss From Niacin (Vitamin B3) Can Be Reversed”

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Dry Eyes Can Cause Blindness
blindnessIf left untreated, dry eye symptoms can result in damage to the cornea and lead to vision loss and blindness for you or a loved one. The Mayo Clinic states that dry eyes are caused by either too little tear production or an increase in tear evaporation. A myriad of causes can lead to dry eyes: lupus, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, and prescription drugs. Fortunately, specific lifestyle changes and prescription eye drops can counter dryness and prevent permanent damage to the eyes that can cause blindness.

People who wear contact lenses and women over the age of 50 at the most considerable risk of dry eyes.

Please contact SDCB if you require assistance for vision loss or blindness. We offer several programs that can improve your life quality.

“Why you should take dry eye symptoms seriously”

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Link between Eye Disease and Brain Degeneration
eye diseaseScientists from Singapore and the United States have discovered new evidence that there is a link between degeneration of the eye and brain. The researchers found that genetic variation at a beta-amyloid gene was significantly associated with increased risk of Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG), a form of irreversible blindness worldwide. Moreover, the study confirmed a hypothesis that glaucoma may not just be an eye disease, but that it is linked to degeneration of the brain as well.

People living with vision loss or blindness are invited to contact San Diego Center for the Blind for assistance. We offer several programs that can help improve your quality of life.

“Researchers Find Link Between Eye Disease And Degeneration Of The Brain”

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November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month
eye diseaseDiabetes is one of the leading causes of eye disease in the United States. During Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month it is vital to inform the public about diabetes and vision loss, as well as the risk factors and treatment options. For more information on diabetic eye diseases, you can look at the “Diabetes and the Eyes” educational toolkit from Prevent Blindness. The toolkit includes fact sheets and infographics for you to share on social media.

SDCB offers many innovative visual rehabilitation programs; please contact us to learn more.

“Raising awareness for diabetic eye disease”

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Finding Permanent Therapeutics for Leading Cause of Blindness
blindnessAge-related macular degeneration (AMD) causes loss of central vision in the retina. AMD is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Fortunately, researchers from Yale, MIT, and Harvard have discovered the cellular culprits of this incurable eye disease. The findings could lead to more permanent therapeutics for macular degeneration patients. The research was published in Nature Communications.

“It is the first time the human retinal cells have been sequenced at the single-cell level,” said Brian Hafler, assistant professor of ophthalmology and pathology at the Yale School of Medicine and co-senior author of the study. “We were able to look at each individual retinal cell’s RNA and how the expression of specific genes varies from other cells. We found which cells expressed the known genetic risk factors for macular degeneration. It’s exciting to be able to assign the AMD-associated genes with the specific cell types they act on.”

If you are struggling with vision loss, then you can benefit from the programs we offer at SDCB. Please contact us to learn more.

“Yale-MIT-Harvard collaboration maps out cellular culprits of blindness”

Posted in Researchers and Leaders in Eye Disease | View Post
Multiple Sclerosis and Vision Loss
vision lossA team of researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine combined high-resolution eye scans and genetic tests to identify three genes involved in the complement immune pathway that is linked to more rapid degeneration of nervous tissue in the eye and loss of sight. Mutations in genes are associated with a higher likelihood of more severe forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and are linked to faster vision loss.

"We believe that our study opens up a new line of investigation targeting complement genes as a potential way to treat disease progression and nerve cell death," said Peter Calabresi, MD, the study's senior leader and a professor at Johns Hopkins University

SDCB can help you or a loved one regain some independence. Please contact us to learn more about our vision rehabilitation programs.

"Mutations in 3 Genes Linked to Vision Loss and MS Severity in Hopkins Study"

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New Imaging Technique for Detecting Blindness
blindnessNew research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, conducted by researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and UT Health's McGovern Medical School, highlights the development and application of new imaging methods for viewing retinal cells. The research teams were interested in retinal cilia, hair-like fibers that work as light. Higher-resolution viewing techniques allow scientists to see the internal structure of healthy and diseased retinal cilia.

"There is a large group of diseases called ciliopathies that are caused by genetic defects in the components of the structure of cilia. One [sic] the most common symptoms of ciliopathies is retinal degeneration and blindness, such as seen in retinitis pigmentosa and Bardet-Biedl syndrome." – Dr. Theodore G. Wensel, corresponding author, professor and Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry in the Department of Biochemistry at Baylor

If you are struggling with vision loss or blindness, then please contact SDCB to learn more about or programs.

"New imaging methods provide unprecedented close-up view of cilia linked to blindness"

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Screening for Blindness in Young People
blindnessThe Plusoptix is a noninvasive vision screener that can check young people's eyes for refractive errors and eye misalignment in just under a minute. If further review is necessary, the device will instruct the subject to see an eye doctor. Last year, the tool helped detect blindness in the left eye of a first-grader named Elliott Wasem. An eye doctor discovered that Elliot has optic nerve edema: a leaky blood vessel causing swelling and blindness.

"I was thinking glasses might be the worst case scenario," said Christy Wasem, Elliott's mother and a kindergarten teacher at Hellgate Elementary. "We had no idea."

Please contact SDCB if you would like assistance with vision loss or blindness. We offer several innovative programs that can help.

"Vision screenings helped spot blindness in Missoula kindergartner"   

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Learning About Diseases that can Cause Blindness
blindnessVision is a precious gift that too many of us take for granted. There are several things we can do differently to protect against blindness, including prioritizing a healthy diet, exercise, and avoiding alcohol and smoking. The five most common causes of blindness are diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and eye injury or trauma.

"The leading causes of blindness and low vision in the United States are primarily age-related eye diseases, says Barbara Horn, a Doctor of Optometry and president of the American Optometric Association. "The potential to rehabilitate vision will depend on the diagnosis, degree of diagnosis and length of diagnosis," she adds. Horn also notes that "early intervention via regular visits with a doctor of optometry is key to prevent visual impairment and optimize early treatment, if needed."

If you require assistance for vision loss or blindness, then we invite you to reach out to SDCB to learn more about our programs.

“5 Diseases That Can Lead to Blindness”

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Blindness Tied to Common Sleep Disorder
blindnessIn the United States, the lives of more than 18 million adults are impacted by sleep apnea. Scientists had already linked the sleep condition to several health problems, but researchers now associate the disorder with blindness. Severe sleep apnea could heighten people's risk of diabetic macular edema: a disease that causes vision loss or blindness.

"Based on these results, we hope that more medical professionals will approach sleep apnea as a risk factor for diabetic macular edema," lead researcher Juifan Chiang said in a press release. "This could allow for earlier medical intervention so patients can keep more of their vision and preserve their overall health as much as possible."

San Diego Center for the Blind specializes in helping people living with vision loss. Please reach out to us to learn more.

"Sleep Apnea Effects Linked To Blindness"

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Preventable Vision Loss Around the Globe
vision lossSome 2.2 billion people are living with eye conditions and visual impairment today, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Report On Vision. The UN health agency warns that the need for eye care is increasing as exponentially more people are expected to suffer from vision loss in the coming years. WHO suggests that lifestyle choices are a driving force behind staggering visual impairment rates.

"Eye conditions and vision impairment are widespread, and far too often they still go untreated," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "It is unacceptable that 65 million people are blind or have impaired sight when their vision could have been corrected overnight with a cataract operation, or that over 800 million struggle in everyday activities because they lack access to a pair of glasses."

If you are struggling with low vision or blindness, then SDCB can help in several ways. Please contact us to learn more.

"One billion people have preventable or unaddressed vision loss"

Posted in Blindness and Society | View Post
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