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  • Vision Research Awareness Month
    Added by My Identity Doctor
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    Vision research month is an important matter to all of us, regardless of ones current eye sight.   We engrave medical jewelry and medical ID bracelets with many different conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts which is a reminder to myself of just how important we further obtain more information and solutions for our eyesight.
    I coach athletes who are legally blind—I accompanied two of them to sight classification at Canadian Goalball Senior Nationals in Toronto in April, and (finally) both of the guys, who have prosthetic eyes, won’t have to be classified again in the future—I joked that was “unless robot eyes are invented”.
    While my term of “robot eyes” is slightly closer to the actual term “bionic eye”, these devices are actually called retinal prostheses—and they are as complicated as they sound! One such device is available under “humanitarian device” status in the US, meaning that it is not proven effective (but also not proven dangerous) for individuals with near-total to total vision loss caused be retinitis pigmentosa [1], a seemingly genetic disease causing the light-sensitive cells of the eye (within the retina) to become destroyed and stop working, causing partial or complete vision loss [2].
    There are numerous causes of vision loss, which mean that it is important that research carries on in the field of eye disease. Other causes of vision loss can include retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and albinism, to name just a few of the more common conditions that may cause vision loss. As the causes of vision loss are varied, research has to focus on each condition separately to come to solutions to assist individuals who are visually impaired to regain sight—or prevent the loss of sight in the first place. With any such diagnosis, some sort of medical jewelry is suggested.  Be it a medical bracelet or a medical ID necklace. Any engraved medical jewelry would suffice. Engraving suggestion would be both the diagnosis, and medications, as-well as emergency contact information. In the event of an emergency it will be important to know ones medical information in regards to these eye conditions.
    While I don’t consider myself to be visually impaired, I do live with a degree of vision loss. I have retinopathy of prematurity, so on a personal level, the advances made in vision research are important to me. I have correctable vision only in my right eye, and can only see lights and shadows from my left
    km left eye
    km right eye periphery—I do not feel it affects my depth perception, as I am often asked, but I also don’t know any different. When I was born 24 years ago, it was commonplace to put premature infants on high levels of supplemental oxygen—they later learned that this destroyed cells in the retina: since this discovery, premature infants are not given as much supplemental oxygen, thus preventing eye damage! Vision research at work! The pictures in this post are actually my eyes last November (the picture on the right, or my left eye, you can see the black spots which is essentially where my retina has been destroyed–the right eye is more unaffected)! Since my vision problems are caused by retinopathy, I am not a candidate for laser surgery. I hope that maybe one day I can participate in a research trial or somehow utilize the technology emerging to gain sight in my left eye! And, while I’m sure the men I coach would agree they’d enjoy the benefits of regaining their sight through technology… they’d probably miss goalball, a sport developed for the rehabilitation of World War 2 veterans who returned from duty visually impaired.
    To learn more about vision loss, visit the American Foundation for the Blind, and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.
    To learn more about goalball, visit the International Blind Sports Federation.
    And of course, for all medical ID bracelets and engraved medical jewelry. Please visit
    Published by My Identity Doctor on June 9, 2015


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