Online training tool helps make best use of remaining visionPosted: Wednesday 8 June 2022 at 15:43
A new online training tool has been launched to help people with macular disease continue to read and see the faces of their loved ones, by teaching them to use their remaining vision.
Eccentric Viewing (EV) is a technique which can help people with central vision loss use parts of their vision which remains unaffected.
The Macular Society has previously provided training to use the technique, but before the coronavirus pandemic it was only available via trained volunteers or staff on a one to one basis.
The rapid take-up of video calling and other technology over the last two years has meant more people have become confident with technology. This has allowed the Society to launch this new online training, thanks to funding from the Thomas Pocklington Trust.
Hannah Keegan, Macular Society programme manager, said: “Using eccentric viewing can be a real confidence booster for people and can help them understand their vision better.”
The new online training is accessible to anyone with an internet connection, using a smartphone, tablet or other computer.
Hannah said: “People tend to get the best results from eccentric viewing when they have the right lighting and low vision aids too, so the training includes short videos on these subjects, as well as eccentric viewing practice activities.”
She added: “Practice is also key to success.”
Christine, aged 55, who was diagnosed with a rare macular condition last year, did the online course after reading about it in the Macular Society’s members magazine Sideview.
She said: “ The training was just so good.
“When I was going for my test at the opticians I started wiggling my head around and I started seeing some of the letters on the board. I can’t tell you, I felt so happy. Because of this EV training I started looking at the clock and seeing the numbers.
“I didn’t know these things before. You’re learning about yourself and what you can do differently.”
If you’d like to know more about EV training, this month’s second My Macular and Me webinar will be welcoming Hannah and her colleague Natalie Bale to talk about the techniques and how they continue to help people with macular disease.
The session will take place on Thursday 30 June at 6.30pm. Register to join the event.