technological aids for Macular Degeneration

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by mdb, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. mdb

    mdb Guest

    I have a computer customer who has asked me to get her a new computer. She
    is a retired attorney in her mid 70's and enjoys browsing the web, looking
    at investment sites, at various newspapers, etc. Macular degeneration and
    cataracts have begun to cause her problems reading. I wondered if folks in
    this newsgroup might have suggestions about technology they've found
    helpful. For example, I'd think a larger monitor, utilizing software that
    magnifies the web page (ZoomText has been recommended), might be helpful.
    But how big should the monitor be? Is 17" enough or should we go for the 20
    or even 24" flat panel monitor? Is the wide screen monitor worthwhile or is
    the regular width monitor better? What other software or technologies have
    other macular degeneration sufferers found helpful?

    What about other devices, like the VideoEye type of closed circuit
    television camera? They're not applicable to computers but only to printed
    materials. But are they helpful?

    Any suggestions or comments appreciated.

    mdb, Oct 28, 2006
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  2. mdb

    Don W Guest

    Don't cataracts (if that be a big part of the problem) diffuse the
    images where increasing the font size really does not help too much.
    Looking at a large E thru frosted glass is as clear as looking at a
    small E.

    Don W.
    Don W, Nov 1, 2006
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  3. No. Cataracts do "diffuse" or blur, or obscure the images, for sure,
    but increasing font ALWAYS helps. And looking at a large anything
    through frosted glass is ALWAYS blurrier than looking at anything, no
    matter what the size, without the frost.

    Any kind of mag helps, but getting the damned things out works the best.

    w.stacy, o.d.
    William Stacy, Nov 1, 2006
  4. mdb

    Don W Guest

    Well, probably (I get the feeling) the best outcome for cataract
    surgery is when the cataract is early and the ARMD is early and dry.
    But I think the jury is still out on more advanced ARMD (i.e., wet) and
    the benefits then of cataract surgery. Even with dry, I think there is
    some reports that cataract surgery accelerates the progression of MD.
    Bummer. (On a clear lens I can see....). But I think the generic
    philosophy of "getting the damn things out" may violate the "do no
    harm" principle.

    Don W.
    Don W, Nov 1, 2006
  5. Maybe. Taking a motor, airline, or train trip might also violate the do
    no harm principle as well. Life is a risk. Minimize the risk by
    selecting an excellent cataract surgeon rather than the guy next door.
    Yes, all surgery has risks, but for sure, an IOL will put a better image
    on your retina than your cataractous lens does. And to me, sooner is
    better than later because most or even all risk factors go up with age.
    w.stacy, o.d.
    William Stacy, Nov 2, 2006
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