Imagine you had to choose between keeping your peripheral or central vision. If you could retain only one of the two for the rest of your life, what would you choose? People with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) don’t have that choice. As their retina deteriorates and their central vision slowly turns to dark fuzz, people with AMD learn to navigate and participate in the world by increasingly relying on their peripheral vision. According to the CDC, age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision impairment and blindness in Americans 65 years and older.

We’ve written about new technology developed to restore central vision. CentraSight is VisionCare’s surgically implantable telescope that enlarges images 2.7 times and projects them onto a healthy part of the retina. Ocutrx Medical’s Oculenz performs a similar trick using augmented reality to compensate for specific retinal damage by filling in image pixels and moving the image elsewhere on the retina.

Evergaze LLC’s seeBoost is a monocular wearable that fits over but does not totally block one lens of a conventional pair of prescription eyeglasses. SeeBoost’s design goal is central vision restoration without compromising peripheral vision. The wearable analyzes what the wearer is looking at and employs automatic contrast enhancement and auto-focusing to assist with central vision. The seeBoost technology is automatic except for manual magnification adjustment from 1.4x to 8x using a knob roller.

Some other solutions block both eyes, which means that other people can’t see your expression when you’re wearing them. seeBoost allows for much more natural interaction with others. People with AMD often cope with gradual vision loss to varying degrees by using magnified page reading machines similar to microfiche readers and by relying on friends and family. My mom had AMD: the bad, wet kind that progressed rapidly. She took advantage of every new treatment and device we could discover, and although they did help for about 15 years, she never accepted that she couldn’t see her children and grandchildren when she looked directly at them. A device like could help others avoid similar frustration.