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Birthday Gift For A 100 Year Old - OrCam Read For Macular Degeneration

It's rare to know someone turning 100 years old, but in the years ahead as our current adult population ages, 100th birthday celebrations will become more commonplace. I had the pleasure of attending such an occasion this past summer. At the celebration, Howard the birthday "boy" spiffy in his tuxedo, spoke about reaching this milestone, his decades of flying airplanes and emphasized what supports his longevity and good health.


Unfortunately, one thing slowing down this active 100 year old is his eyesight, due to macular degeneration. While Howard's peripheral vision is good, his central vision is blurry making reading extremely difficult. This common age-related condition causes people to stop engaging and lose independence. Daily activities such as reading books, email, snail-mail or even food prep are avoided because text is inaccessible.


To give you an idea of the impact of macular degeneration here's a visual of the disease stages.

4 photos of young girl in front of a tree that become increasing blurry. A black spot obscures her face in the last photo.

On the bright side, shortly after his birthday party, Howard received an OrCam Read digital smart camera. This device is designed for people like Howard who have conditions causing low vision. Below are his comments reminding us it's never too late to get back in the game, and how OrCam Read is for macular degeneration. He especially loves returning to do what he enjoys -- READING BOOKS!

 
Reading was one of my pastimes while getting to 100 years old. Being a pilot for 70 years or more indicated I had excellent eyesight, but when macular degeneration started in my left eye, I still had good visibility with 20/40 vision in my right eye. Unfortunately, even though I have excellent peripheral vision -- I am still able to pass the driving test -- but unable to read a book.
Suddenly OrCam came into my life. Now I'm able to enjoy books once again. This has been (pardon the expression) an "eye opening" experience for me. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be able to enjoy a book as I have since getting my OrCam. My sincere thanks to the developers of this fantastic instrument.
100 year old man sitting on chair with magazine on his lap. In right hand he's holding an OrCam smart reading device aimed at the magazine. He is showing how he reads with his OrCam
Enjoying reading at home and on the go.

Howard D. Levinson


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