Triangle invention helps the nearly blind see again - WNCT

Triangle invention helps the nearly blind see again

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Stephen Goetz wearing the Sightscope Stephen Goetz wearing the Sightscope

He was once nearly-blind, but a new invention is helping a Durham man see almost perfectly.  "20/20" is considered perfect vision, but Stephen Goetz has 20/2200 vision.

"In Steve's situation, what he can see at 20 feet, the standard eye can see 200 feet away, ten times larger," Optometrist Henry Greene said.

Goetz can only make out things that are directly in front of him, but Dr. Greene's new invention called the "Sightscope" have changed that.

The special glasses have a device attached to them that's sort of like a pair of minIature binoculars.  They artificIally bring objects closer, so those suffering from severe visual impairment can see much better.  Unlike older, bulkier devices that are physically drilled into the lenses, the Sightscope is adjustable and can flip up out of the patient's way.

For Goetz, it means he can now drive a car, enjoy movies and spend more time with his kids.

"Nobody knows exactly what it feels like, but this is a remarkable step in a different direction," Goetz said. "It changes the way I look at myself because when you differentiate yourself from other people and you think, ok I can't be with that group, or I have to act differently.  It's a little bit empowering to be able to walk and say I can see the same thing everybody else is."

The Sightscope went on the market just a couple of months ago.  Dr. Greene says only about 1,000 optometrists are trained to help people who suffer from this kind of severe visual impairment.  He says the best candidates for the Sightscope are people who have had visual impairment since birth or seniors suffering macular degeneration.  The device costs just under $1,000.

For more information, visit  www.ocutech.com

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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