When the wife of Walter Kohn, PhD, began developing age-related macular degeneration, the Nobel prize-winning chemist of the University of California Santa Barbara invented a novel method for precisely measuring the visual distortions experienced by individual AMD patients.
New eyeglasses and computer aids would correct AMD-distorted images, like the one seen on the left, so they appeared clear and undistorted (right).
Now, Dr. Kohn is developing eyeglasses and computer aids to correct these distortions.
To do so, patients view a standard Amsler grid (which appears distorted to their eyes). Using a computer mouse or a touch screen and specialized software, patients reconstruct the Amsler grid so it appears undistorted. This data is used to perfectly correct a pair of customized lenses for an individual’s eyeglasses, for example.
Other potential tools include interactive software to allow images and text to be viewed on a computer screen without distortion, or a handheld device (such as a smartphone or tablet) that can correct for distortions while scanning a scene, image or text.