An eye-opener for good vision

The 'Eye Pod', a mobile interactive simulator that provides an insight into the four most common causes of sight loss in Britain: Glaucoma, Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy and Age Related Macular Degeneration, on display at Shoprite carpark, Ramsey.

Carole White (Low Vision Therapist) and Julie Lee (Rehabilitation Officer) with the Eye Pod

The 'Eye Pod', a mobile interactive simulator that provides an insight into the four most common causes of sight loss in Britain: Glaucoma, Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy and Age Related Macular Degeneration, on display at Shoprite carpark, Ramsey. Carole White (Low Vision Therapist) and Julie Lee (Rehabilitation Officer) with the Eye Pod

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The RNIB’s Eye Pod visited the island as part of Vision Awareness Week 2016.

The kiosk travelled to a variety of locations around the island to highlight the effect of the four most common causes of sight loss in Britain.

A spokesman for the island’s RNIB said the week had gone well and provided an effective means of demonstrating what people suffering from different eye conditions were able to see.

‘It all went really well,’ she said.

‘The college was particularly busy with students coming in to see the display. It’s amazing how many youngsters don’t get their eyes tested. There were a few people in the different locations who had queries for us and the children who visited certainly had great fun.’

The pod featured an external periscope, similar to the Camera Obscura, giving a view of the surroundings outside and it could be swivelled around to show different areas. The operator could then change the image shown to reproduce the view as it would be seen by someone suffering from any of the four main eye complaints causing sight loss in the British Isles. They are glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

The pod visited the Manx Blind Welfare Society’s headquarters at Corrin Court in Onchan, Shoprite in Ramsey, the Isle of Man College, Shoprite in Port Erin and Granville Street in Douglas. A scheduled visit to Peel was not able to take place on Friday and the pod instead returned to Corrin Court.

Advice was also given on the importance of having a regular eye test, recommended every two years, which is free in the Isle of Man. Apart from long or short sightedness, an eye check can reveal a number of other potentially serious health complaints. Advice was given on eye health to help to prevent some of the conditions or reduce their impact with early detection and prompt treatment.

The spokesman added: ‘There were a few people who dropped in because they had queries for us and people were advised on how to spot the different signs for each of the different eye conditions.’

The Eye Pod was sent over by the UK Royal National Institute for the Blind. One of the advantages is it allows carers and other family members of people with an eye condition to get a first hand view of the problems faced by the person affected.

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