You may remember my blog reporting on the innovative Eye Pod which was launched earlier this year in the UK by the RNIB. It is their newest way of promoting sight loss awareness, or should I say " avoiding" sight loss.This week the quirky looking pod reached the big city and rooted down in Harley Street, London, at the headquarters of the General Optical Council.
Staff from all levels from the GOC were able to use the simulator to experience first hand what vision would be like while affected by four of the major sight loss conditions; cataracts, Age Related Macular Degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Outside conditions are simulated as per each condition using two roof mounted cameras which provides a visible representation on a screen within the pod. Those that take part can also take away further advice and information on each of the conditions experienced.The Assistant Campaigns Officer for eye health has stated that the members of the public who have shown interest in using the Pod are generally people who have members of their family afflicted with one of the conditions. The staff of the pod are able to advise on causes and prevention and keep enforcing the message that looking after your eyes is a continuous task, and should not just be approached when a condition has been diagnosed. Up to fifty percent of sight loss in the UK is avoidable and two yearly eye checks are a vital pathway to bringing down that statistic.
Reports after the simulations were that is was generally a fantastic experience. The Eye Pod will continue on it's way around the United Kingdom, visiting both Wiltshire and Birmingham by the end of the month.