OXSIGHT – a breakthrough technology for vision enhancement and rehabilitation for visual impaired with peripheral field loss

Blindness can be one of the most disabling of conditions whether it occurs by birth, sudden loss or long-term health issues. It is life-changing for the blind person and also for their families. However, what is surprising that blindness often does not mean total blindness and as much as 90% of blind people and can see partially. However, this partial vision or Low Vision can limit their ability to be independent and require them and their families to adapt.

India is estimated to have 62 million of individuals suffering from visual impairment per conservative estimates from WHO and governmental recognized bodies. As per the National Programme for Control of Blindness, India, the causes of blindness are cataract 62.6%, uncorrected refractive error 19.7%, glaucoma 5.80%, posterior segment disorder 4.70%, surgical complications 1.20%, corneal blindness 0.90%, posterior capsule opacification 0.90%and others 4.19%.

According to Dr Monica Chaudhry, one of India’s leading expert in Low Vision and Chairman of Optometry Council of India, most common causes of Low Vision in India are Retinitis Pigmentosa (36.2%), Age-related Macular Degeneration (16.6%), Diabetic Retinopathy (15.9%) and Glaucoma (10.0%). Retinitis Pigmentosa and Glaucoma in turn cause Tunnel Vision type of partial blindness where Age-related Macular Degeneration causes Peripheral Vision type of partial blindness.

Professor Monica Chaudhry

International Clinical Advisor

In her clinical experience, key challenges are that for many of the diseases which cause Low Vision do not have surgical treatments whereby the practitioners feel lack of options for such patients. Another key challenge that specialist clinical centres with expertise in treating Low Vision patients are few in India and awareness about them is low. Due to these challenges, patients are mostly left on their own.

However, patients should not give hope. Low Vision products have been demonstrated to improve the vision of patients and their ability to become more independent in their lives. Therefore, such patients should be referred to Low Vision clinics and be made aware new technologies such as OXSIGHT. In recent years, there have been breakthrough in Low Vision technologies which can enhance vision for many patients without requiring surgeries. OXSIGHT (www.oxsight.in) , an innovative medical device company from United Kingdom has launched two new products in India for Tunnel Vision patients who have peripheral vision loss. This British company has done several years of research at University of Oxford working with global charities for blind such as Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Guide Dogs and their products are already sold in UK and Europe.

Similarly, Prof Monica recommends that more awareness needs to be created among clinical practitioners such as Ophthalmologists and Optometrists to uplift the status of Low Vision services provided to patients through training by clinical centres in India to serve the needs of such large underserved patient population in India.

Let us all work together to help patients enhance their vision and regain independence.