TODAY |

Mount Maunganui woman with rare vision disease given gift of improved sight thanks to new technology

A Mount Maunganui woman with a rare vision disease has been given the gift of improved sight due to new technology.

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Nic Winslade suffers from Stargart Disease and is legally blind. Source: Seven Sharp

Nic Winslade has Stargardt Disease, an impairment that means she has a loss of central vision. She relies on her peripheral vision in order to see and is legally blind. 

Ms Winslade says having the disease feels like someone has put a bit of Vaseline in the middle of her eyes.

"It's almost like a blur in the middle wherever you look."

There is no cure for Stargardt, which she inherited from her parents.

“It's a recessive gene from each person,” says Ms Winslade.

“They actually met on a blind date which is pretty funny."

Everyday life is full of challenges for Ms Winslade, including not being able to drive.

"It would be nice the first time I use a knife to actually have it the right way so that the sharp edge is facing down.”

Thanks to new technology in glasses called a bi-optic system, that could soon be a reality for her.

"You just dip your head, and we use your best eye to look through the telescope and you can get 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, times magnification to give you the best quality of vision that you can have in your central spot,” says optician Peter Neuhauser.

Ms Winslade says trying the glasses on for the first time was “nuts”.

"I know it's for driving but it's about faces. It’s about seeing faces and people."