Luxturna, Gene Therapy and Your Inherited Retinal Disease

Caption: Scene as Viewed by Person with Retinitis Pigmentosa In December 2017, news broke to great fanfare that the FDA had approved the first ever gene therapy for a genetic disease. Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl) had been proven to restore vision in people living with inherited retinal diseases. Stories about children seeing their parents’ faces for … Continued

Retinitis Pigmentosa or Choroideremia? Genetic Testing May Be the Only Way to Know

Retinitis Pigmentosa or Choroideremia? by Mary Hiland When Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) was the diagnosis for me at age 18 in 1963, I had already been through a battery of tests throughout the preceding 10 years. There was one test, however, that was not even suggested. Genetic testing was considered only for the sake of curiosity, … Continued

From Lighthouse Guild: A New Vision Rehabilitation eLearning Program Specifically for Ophthalmologists

Low vision and blindness affect a substantial portion of the older adult population in the United States. Although new research from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine indicates that the annual number of new cases of blindness and low vision among people aged 45 years and older is estimated to double during the next 30 … Continued

From the American Academy of Ophthalmology: Eye Doctors Must Learn to Pay Closer Attention to Depression in Their Patients with Vision Loss

At the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 11-14, 2017, Dr. John D. Shepherd, Director of the Weigel Williamson Center for Visual Rehabilitation at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, delivered a powerful lecture on older adults, depression, and vision loss. Dr. Shepherd discussed his own experience … Continued

The Reality and Costs of Gene Therapy for Eye Disease: Who Will (or Can) Pay?

As our readers know, VisionAware is committed to providing current and reliable information about eye and vision research that is relevant to adults and older adults, many of whom experience late-life vision loss resulting in low vision. During the past several years, gene therapy has gained traction and offers promise for treating (but not yet … Continued

Researchers Continue to Explore the Potential of Human Echolocation and Acoustics for People with Vision Loss

Vision rehabilitation professionals, including Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Vision Rehabilitation Therapists, and Low Vision Therapists, have long been aware of the need to incorporate sensory input, including echolocation, in their instructional programs. Human echolocation describes the ability of humans to detect objects in their environments by sensing reflected sound waves from those objects. Now it … Continued

H.R.2050: The Medicare Demonstration of Coverage of Low Vision Devices Act of 2017 Needs Your Advocacy and Support

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Public Policy Center has announced the reintroduction of federal legislation that seeks to establish a nationwide Medicare demonstration project to evaluate the fiscal impact of a permanent change in Medicare coverage that would, for the first time, provide reimbursement for low vision devices. The AFB Public Policy Center, … Continued

Do the Brains of Blind Persons “Rewire” or Adjust to Significantly Enhance the Other Senses? New Research Says Yes

An age-old question that surfaces regularly in my work is this one: “Is it true that blind people develop super senses, like extra-sensitive hearing or touch, to compensate for not being able to see?” A variation of the “super senses” question asks this: “Are the other senses truly enhanced, or do people without the sense … Continued

Understanding Our Shifting Health Insurance Landscape – and What It Means for People with Vision Loss

Guest blogger Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D., is the Senior Policy Researcher with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The AFB Public Policy Center collaborates with policy makers in Congress and the Executive Branch to ensure that Americans with vision loss have equal rights and opportunities to fully participate in … Continued

Understanding Our Shifting Health Insurance Landscape – and What It Means for People with Vision Loss

Guest blogger Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D., is the Senior Policy Researcher with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The AFB Public Policy Center collaborates with policy makers in Congress and the Executive Branch to ensure that Americans with vision loss have equal rights and opportunities to fully participate in … Continued