Meet my Mom, she has RP. Moms vision has deteriated very slowly over the past 60+ years, to the point of now being 99.9 percent blind. This has made her quite angry (Potty Mouth Grandma), and this shows through her behavior. Mom is nearly 80 years old now and being legally blind is even more challenging at this age.
My vision is great, so I can’t even begin to imagine, but I must wonder which would be worse–being born blind and never having sight, or losing my vision slowly, along with all of the wonderful sights I’m used to enjoying?
Research led by physician-scientists at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has produced a breakthrough discovery in diagnosing retinitis pigmentosa, a blinding disease that affects about 1 in 4,000 people in the United States.
Rong Wen, M.D., Ph.D., and Byron Lam, M.D., professors of ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer, in collaboration with biochemist Ziqiang Guan, Ph.D., a research associate professor at Duke University Medical School, discovered a key marker in blood and urine that can identify people who carry genetic mutations in a gene responsible for retinitis pigmentosa (RP). “A simple urine test can tell who has the RP-causing mutations,” said Dr. Wen. “Collecting urine is non-invasive and easy, especially from young children.”
FDA approved prosthetic eye will help people with retinitis pigmentosa see. The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System is the first implanted device approved by the FDA to help restore some sense of sight to those over the age of 25 with advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP).
For thousands of years man has used animals in many ways to assist with daily chores. From horses pulling carriages to pigeons carrying letters, animals have aided man in various ways. None more helpful, perhaps, than the way seeing eye dogs assist the blind. People have been using seeing eye dogs as visual aids since the mid-16th century and they have only gotten more popular since.
People choose to use guide dogs for several reasons. One of them being that it’s much easier for a visually impaired person to move around in rough conditions because your dog can clear a pathway for you. Your dog will detect obstacles sooner than a cane would and the dog will take you around those obstacles that you could possibly run into otherwise. They can also be trained to find things for you such as a bus stop, soda machine, mailbox or anything else you would find necessary. Guide dogs quickly learn the routes you take most often; making you feel safer and more confident when walking around on your daily routines.
Making the decision to get a seeing eye dog is a big one and there are lots of things to consider.
In my own opinion, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.