Rural Missouri - June 2017 - 13
Local Eye Doctors Help
Legally Blind To See
High Technology For Low Vision Patients Allows Many To Drive Again
that will give you the independence
you've been looking for. Patients with
vision in the 20/200 range can many
times be improved to 20/50 or better.
Macular degeneration is the
leading cause of blindness and vision
loss in people over 50. Despite this,
most adults are not familiar with the
As many as 25% of those over the
age of 50 have some degree of macular
degeneration. The macula is only one
small part of the retina; however, it is
the most sensitive and gives us sharp
central vision. When it degenerates,
For many patients with macular
macular degeneration leaves a blind
degeneration and other vision-related spot right in the center of vision,
conditions, the loss of central visual
making it difficult or impossible to
detail also signals the end to one of
recognize faces, read a book, or pass
the last bastion of independence:
the driver's vision test.
driving. Missouri optometrist
Nine out of 10 people who have
Dr. Ryan Broyles and Illinois
macular degeneration have the dry
optometrist Dr. Marianne McDaniel form. New research suggests vitamins
are using miniaturized telescopes
can help. The British medical journal
that are mounted in glasses to help
BMC Ophthalmology recently
people who have lost vision from
reported that 56% of patients treated
macular degeneration and other eye
with a high-dose combination of
vitamins experienced improved vision
"Some of my patients consider me
after six months.
the last stop for people who have
While age is the most significant
vision loss," said Dr. Broyles, one of
risk factor for developing the disease,
only a few doctors in the world who
heredity, smoking, cardiovascular
specialize in fitting bioptic telescopes
disease, and high blood pressure have
to help those who have lost vision
also been identified as risk factors.
due to macular degeneration, diabetic
Macular degeneration accounts
retinopathy, and other debilitating eye for 90% of new legal blindness in the
U.S. While there is currently no cure,
Imagine a pair of glasses that can
promising research is being done on
improve your vision enough to change many fronts. "My job is to figure out
your life. If you're a low vision patient, everything and anything possible to
you've probably not only imagined
keep a person functioning, especially
them, but have been searching for
driving," says Dr. McDaniel.
them. Bioptic telescopes may be the
"Bioptic telescopes can cost over
breakthrough in optical technology
$2,000," said Dr. McDaniel, "especially
if we build them with an automatic
"The major benefit of the bioptic
telescope is that the lens automatically
focuses on whatever you're looking at,"
said Dr. Broyles. "It's like a self-focusing
camera, but much more precise."
A scene as it might be viewed by a person
with age-related macular degeneration.
To learn more about bioptic
telescopes or to schedule a
consultation call today.
Ryan Broyles, O.D.
Serving The Greater Kansas City Area
Marianne McDaniel, O.D.
Serving The Greater St. Louis Area