SAN ANTONIO — Losing your eyesight can not only be physiologically damaging, but mentally and emotionally challenging as well. However, a fairly new product that uses a smartphone mounted to a headset is changing the lives of many, allowing them to see things they haven't seen in years.

"In the left I have retinal detachment. A few years ago, I started to develop glaucoma as well," said Jose Lopez, who works at the San Antonio Lighthouse For The Blind. "A lot of my work is done on the computer or interacting with other individuals for training purposes, or just to assist them with evaluating equipment."

He lost his right eye last year, also from glaucoma, and now relies only on his left one. "When I'm using the computer I have assistive devices, I have a system of software to enlarge things to read to me what's on the screen that sort of thing," he said.

Just two months ago, Lopez discovered the hands-free IrisVision."I can do it with specific tasks like assisting somebody on the computer, to see what they are doing or if I need to read the serial numbers, or something as simple as plugging something into an electrical outlet," he said.

Right now many patients are using three devices: A stand magnifier for close-up reading, binocular glasses for medium range viewing, and a long range handheld telescope to see things far away. But with Irisvision, those three are all combined into one.

Dr. Nancy Amir, a low-vision optometrist told us, "This technology that now is available is so exciting, to provide to this capability of using one device for multiple distances and for patients to be independent again."

IrisVision helps users overcome many low vision conditions including some of the more common ones like macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, Stargardt Disease, and retinitis pigmentosa, which causes loss of vision. Dr. Amir added, "For the right patient, it definitely is worth it to have that freedom to use one device for multiple distances."

You can discover more about IrisVision by visiting their website.

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