Health Editor’s Note: Our vision is one of the most important senses that we have. While eye diseases can plague everyone, especially as we age, specifically we have veterans who will loose or have lost their sight. The wearable assistive vision technology can be used by everyone who need visual assistance….Carol
Veteran’s Day, observed annually on November 11, is a day that honors those who sacrificed and served in the United States Armed Forces. These veterans have given up their time, return injured and even sometimes don’t return home.
Did you know, according to the Blinded Veterans Association, more than 158,000 blind or visually impaired veterans live among us? Each year, some 7,000 veterans become newly blind or visually impaired as age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy affect their lives more profoundly, according to VisionAware.com.
When V.A. Jesse Acosta, from Southern California was hit in the face with a mortar round in Iraq in 2006, he lost both his eyes and his jawbone shattered, while suffering a variety of other injuries. As a 34-year Army veteran, Jesse knew he would pull through and overcome any obstacles that came his way.
After extensive reconstruction surgery on his face and jaw including bone graphing, Jesse Acosta had to re-learn how to live life without sight but he was grateful to be alive. With the help of OrCam, the world’s most advanced wearable assistive technology for people who are blind or visually impaired, Jesse is now a manager at the Southern California Gas Co., even after becoming addicted to pain killers while in the hospital. After four years of addiction, he is now clean.
Like Jesse, many people today are visually challenged. According to the World Health Organization, over 3% of the world population is blind or visually impaired. A recent American Community Survey found that nearly 7.5 million Americans are affected by a visual disability. Simple, routine tasks such as reading a newspaper, menu, label, street sign or smartphone and computer screen can become insurmountable. OrCam MyEye 2.0 communicates visual information by utilizing a small, intuitive smart-camera mounted on the wearer’s eyeglass frame.