Eye care

Doctors thought I had a lazy eye after I clipped parked cars – but the reality was much worse, I had to g… – The Scottish Sun

A MUM who was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition with no known treatment three decades ago has spoken of the joy of being able to see again – thanks to new smart glasses technology.

Kathleen Williams, 58 from Odmeldrum near Inverurie, had to give up the job she loved as a nursery nurse after she developed macular disease when she was just 25.

Kathleen's sight problems started when she was just 25

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Kathleen’s sight problems started when she was just 25
She was originally told that there was no treatment available

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She was originally told that there was no treatment available

The condition impacts the central vision causing blurring of sight.

She had noticed her sight getting progressively worst when she began clipping the mirrors of parked cars whenever she got begin the wheel.

Five opticians looked at Kathleen’s eyes, receiving a misdiagnosis of lazy eye before she was advised she had dry macular degeneration, and that there was no treatment available.

Skip forward ten years and, at 35, the mum-of-four had given up the job she loved, could no longer drive, and was unable to recognise friends in the street.

She explained: “It was hard to give up work, but I had no choice. I couldn’t see if the children in my care were laughing or crying because those noises can sound similar.

“Faces became blurred, even with the ridiculous binocular glasses I was wearing.

“I was losing my central vision so I couldn’t read either. I used to take work home to memorise materials to learn with the children.

“It got to the point that the kids were correcting me, and I knew it couldn’t go on.

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“My youngest daughter – now 16 – fell and hurt her knee and I put a plaster on the cut.

“My husband came home and found glass in the cut, so it became unsafe for me to be in those kinds of situations.”

When Kathleen turned 40, she relocated to Aberdeenshire in Scotland to start a new life with chef husband Marc, but shortly after moving her sight deteriorated significantly.

She said: “I think a lot of people believe I’m a snob because I don’t wave hello to them.

“Even using a white stick, if you’re relatively young, it doesn’t seem to register with some people.

“I’ve found it difficult because I used to be very independent. I don’t like needing help, it makes me agitated.”

Kathleen then discovered a new ‘smart glasses’ technology that finally helped her with being able to see again- 33 years after she started experiencing the symptoms from the condition.

The special technology launched by OXSIGHT Onyx last October has allowed Kathleen to watch TV again.

The smart glasses use AI technology to help people with eye problems ‘see’ by allowing them to zoom in with image enhancement, adapting exactly to the wearer’s needs.

Kathleen says she now feels part of her family again.

She added: “They are absolutely brilliant. Beforehand, if we were watching a film I’d be asking ‘who’s that’ and my husband would explain to me, but then we’d miss the next bit.

“Now I don’t need to rely on Marc so much. I can tell the time on the clocks in our house. We have a rabbit who can scratch and if I get a cut or scrape I can look myself to check it’s OK.

“I can read by zooming in on text, and – it’s hard to describe -but the glasses seem to enhance colour too, so I can sit on the sofa and enjoy the paintings we’ve got on the wall.

“We live near the seaside and when we went for a drive recently I could use the glasses to zoom in and see the seals on the rocks.

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“I keep trying to use them in different ways. In the past I used to sew my fingers onto fabric, but I think I could even use them to sew, with practice.

“In just one month of having them they have helped me immensely – I’d be lost without them.”

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