The idea that a pair of glasses can restore vision to the blind sounds like something straight out of science fiction. Just the thought sparks images of Geordi La Forge, the blind lieutenant commander from Star Trek whose futuristic visor enabled him to see.Yet, like many things born from imagination, this miraculous invention didn’t stay in the realm of fiction. Today it exists through a company called eSight, who brought to market an incredible piece of eyewear that literally gives sight to the blind.Does it sound too impossible to fathom? Get ready. We’re about to peel back your skepticism and make you a believer. Dreamscape Foundation recently caught up with Gary Foster, eSight’s Coaching Program Manager and an avid user of eSight’s life-changing eyewear.
The Miracle of Sight Made Possible
Gary Foster isn’t just an employee hired to advocate eSight’s eyewear. His journey began as a customer, eager to take advantage of what eSight had to offer.“I lost my vision in my early 50’s to macular degeneration,” Foster explained. “There’s no cure. I was familiar with it because my mother had it, and I was my mother’s caregiver. When it started to happen to me, it happened very, very rapidly. Right now, my acuity is 20 over 400; 20 over 200 being legally blind, so I’m well past that.”Foster heard about eSight for the first time while he was at an event. At first, he was skeptical. He’d seen many doctors and tried many pieces of technology in order to improve his eyesight, but nothing up to that point had helped. He had no central vision and no hope at the time of ever redeeming it.But word that a demo for eSight was happening at the event he was attending, Foster was pressured into giving it a try. Reluctantly, he complied, yet he’s glad he did for the moment Foster glimpsed through eSight’s eyewear, his life changed. “I was really taken by surprised when I looked through [eSight’s eyewear],” Foster said. “I wasn’t prepared for the fact that there was nothing missing in my central vision. It was emotional but more than anything I just realized very quickly that this was going to open up a whole world of possibilities for me.”Within those few, short moments of seeing through eSight’s device, Foster knew he had to have one.“It was really fascinating for me,” he said. “I knew instantly that there was hope and I couldn’t wait to know more.”Within a year, Gary found the means to purchase eSight and the impact its had on his life has been truly remarkable. With eSight, Foster tests at 20/20 vision. Yet with the device’s 24 times zooming capabilities, you could say it’s even better. “Once I got my hands on eSight, everything started to change drastically,” Foster shared in a voice rich with enthusiasm. “As I became proficient with it, I found navigating was the easiest thing in the world to do. I was now able to go anywhere on my own.“It allowed me to do all the things I loved to do before.”Although he can’t drive or fly a plane due to legal limitations, eSight’s eyewear doesn’t hold foster back from much else. He is capable of going places on his own, being active, and engaging in the everyday tasks and hobbies he enjoyed prior to his macular degeneration.Mastering the eyewear’s technical functionality, he went from user to ambassador, spreading the word wherever he traveled to anyone who would listen. His efforts resulted in so many inquiries that eSight itself couldn’t help but take notice.“The company was saying, ‘Boy, this guy really gets around! And he’s willing to talk to anybody,’” Foster shared with a laugh. “And it’s true. They haven’t found my off-switch here yet.”He met the CEO, started attending events, and a few years later expressed his interest to work with eSight as part of their staff. He raised the question to the company’s owner and after a brief conversation, they hired both Foster and his wife to become part of the team.His job now enables him to help get the word out about eSight, teach people how to use the device, and meet with legislators, insurance companies and VA’s to help more people discover and get their hands on the gift of sight.
The eSight Experience
eSight’s technology is the product of over a decade of research inspired by its creator’s desire to find a way to improve the lives of his two legally blind sisters. Now, through the collaborative research and effort of a hardcore team of “visioneers”, eSight’s eyewear is disrupting the market and bringing new opportunities for engagement to people with low vision.But how does it work? The device uses a high-speed, high-definition camera that projects what the user is looking at onto two screens, one displayed near each eye. In order to accommodate peripheral vision, this camera tilts both up and down. Operated by many algorithms and high tech software, eSight’s eyewear enables its users to see instantly, giving them the freedom to use their hands and be mobile without assistance. From walking to reading, watching TV, gaming, painting, and more, the visually impaired discover a new level of engagement with the world around them the moment they put on this unique device.However, technology isn’t the only thing eSight brings to the table. Their in-house team is wholly dedicated to helping customers adapt and get the most out of their eSight technology.“One of the best things about this company is the support,” Foster stressed. “They walk the walk and talk the talk. Nobody better to understand the emotional side of it, the practical side of it, and the future—the potential.”eSight’s team works with and learns from their users, spending as much time training and consulting as needed, at no additional cost to the user. What’s more, the coaches provided to customers are all eSight users, capable of not only navigating the device but also understanding the complex level of emotions and questions that come with the new experience.Plus, every device receives free software updates for as long as you own it. That means as new capabilities are interwoven into eSight’s software, you’ll continue to benefit from them even if you bought your device prior to its development.
Making Accessibility More Accessible
Could eSight be a transformative accessibility option to help you live a fuller life? Currently, eSight has been able to improve the sight of 80% of their visually impaired candidates. Learn whether eSight can help you by trying it for free.Currently, the eSight 3 is available on the market for $9,995. However, don’t let the price tag dissuade you. The company provides multiple options and resources for assistance to help you afford this revolutionary piece of technology.“We never want price to be a barrier from someone having access to the technology they want and need,” said Marketing Manager Laura Chau. “That’s why we have our Affordability Team who seeks out resources for you and work with you one-on-one to organize crowdfunding, find grants, or whatever it may be to find you the funds required in order for you to get your technology.”Talk to one of eSight’s representatives about financing options, as well as their eMPOWER program, which helps customers raise money in order to pay for this powerful piece of eyewear. When you reach out, the company extends an open hand and invites you to the eSight family, where the miracle of sight is made possible for many.For more information, visit eSight Eyewear online.
Most people take the ability of sight for granted, never thinking that they could become blind. Glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes and macular degeneration are just a few of the ways one can lose their eyesight. Below, we have broken down the multiple ways one can prevent eye damage and vision loss.
1. Key Nutrients for Eye Health
Having a well-balanced diet high in nutrients from leafy greens, vitamin A, C and omega-3’s is a huge preventative measure which most people over look. In addition, Vitamin’s D and E as well as Bioflavonoids, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Zinc are also key nutrients proven to benefit and protect your vision. Fortunately you can find many of these nutrients in foods we eat everyday like carrots, spinach, broccoli, fish, seeds and nuts.
One thing to keep in mind, keeping a healthy and well balanced diet goes beyond just getting the nutrients we need but also helps to prevent diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults. For anyone who has been living with Type 2 diabetes for 5 years or more, it is highly recommended that you receive a dilated eye exam at least once a year!
2. Cloudy with a Chance of UV Damage
You can prevent macular degeneration by wearing sunglasses, but not just any sunglasses. One hundred percent protection is the way to go. Cloudy days may seem like a safe bet, but you can still sustain UV damage from diffused sunlight through the clouds.
3. Sunscreen Protects more than just your Skin
Typically, wearing sunscreen can help prevent skin cancers like carcinoma and melanoma that can form in or around the eyes or eyelids causing severe damage to eye integrity. Using facial sunscreens can greatly reduce the risk of these vision impairing diseases or conditions. It is very important to apply and reapply sunscreen as necessary when out for long periods of time. Furthermore, we cannot stress enough the safety and proper use of these products because where they can help protect your vision, actually getting them into your eye can cause problems of its own! Should this ever occur, immediately flush out your eyes using a clean water source and if irritation and vision impairment occur or continue please contact a eye care professional.
4. Computer Screens, Tablets and Smartphones
In the modern age of computers and the Internet, we are almost completely dependent on tablets, smartphones and other devices to perform tasks for work or entertain ourselves. As a result, our eyes become increasingly strained and damaged due to constant exposure. On average Americans spend 9 hours a day staring at a screen and do not know just how important it is to unplug and look away. The 20-20-20 rule states to focus our eyes on an object roughly 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds to help preserve our vision. This is just one of many helpful techniques we can use daily to help minimize strain and stress on our eyes.
5. Eye Exams
Scheduling regular eye exams is another way to help preemptively prevent eye degeneration. Dilated eye exams, while not a typical option, are more recommended to see deeper into the eye in order to spot diseases early on. Whether it be having you read a chart or using a high-powered lens to better inspect your eye, optometrists and ophthalmologists are able to detect diseases and problems earlier then ever before!
6. Injuries and Safety Glasses
Eye injuries can occur without warning, most commonly at home, in the workplace or playing sports. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so they say. Protective eye-wear is relatively inexpensive and often overlooked and can help save your eyesight while working on home improvement projects, especially if you’re Tim Taylor!
7. Quit Unhealthy Activities and Habits
Smoking maybe be cool if you’re James Dean, but in this case can cause blindness due to the increasingly high amounts of carcinogens and toxic ingredients found in all tobacco cigarette brands. Smoking can cause cataracts and is three times more likely to cause macular degeneration.
Some ways smoking can impact your vision is by limiting the amount of oxygen to your macula, damaging blood vessels in your eyes, and/or increasing the risk of diabetic retinopathy.
8. Upkeep of your Mind and Body
Keeping a regular workout routine is another healthy way to prevent vision loss by reducing the risk of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Now we know changing your lifestyle and becoming more active can be difficult for many! Luckily, there are more ways then ever to get active whether it is through the gym, yoga, cycling or even setting motivational goals like completing a marathon. Still even with these options it can be difficulty however, the American Heart Association has come up with countless ideas of different and easy ways to get up and be more active!
9. Good Hygiene
Proper hygiene is just as important when keeping up your eyesight. Germs and bacteria can be damaging by spreading infection, causing irritation or redness and unwanted illness. It is important to disinfect your hands before touching your face and eyes. Many of us make common mistakes on a regular basis when it comes to our hygiene and eye health!
Do you take your makeup off every night before bed?
How often do you rinse your contact lenses before putting them in and when taking them out?
Simple tasks like these are often forgotten or overlooked because they are just that, SIMPLE. We deal with them daily and get so comfortable with cutting corners when we are tired or just being lazy that we forget the potential harm that comes with them.
10. Genes and Family History
Researching your family’s genetics and susceptibilities give you more insight into possible future health issues and a leg up on preventative actions you can take. Our eyesight is one of our most vital senses. Being well informed about the causes of blindness and methods of prevention gives us a better fighting chance at maintaining proper eye health until a more advanced age.
With advances in modern medicine, there’s no telling what the future may hold. Blindness may never plague us again.
Still have questions or want to learn more ways to protect your eyes? There are plenty of online resources providing detailed strategies and explanations!
Looking to contact us? Let us know if you want to set up a conversation! (+1) 239-325-1881