The Fred Hollows Foundation has launched an online tool on hollows.org to help people around the world understand how life might look if they developed one of three eye diseases that account for the majority of avoidable blindness – cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Sight Simulator, launched in the U.S. earlier this year, has now been unveiled in Australia. The simulator uses Google Street View images to allow users to search for familiar places or iconic landmarks and then view them with a varying severity of vision loss due to cataracts, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.
Places like the Sydney Opera House are barely recognisable with dense cataracts or severe diabetic retinopathy, and even familiar locations like your home or workplace become unrecognisable.
As users explore the simulator, facts about avoidable blindness pop up on the screen. For example, cataract is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, accounting for 51 per cent of cases.
Fred Hollows Foundation CEO Brian Doolan said he hopes the Sight Simulator will inspire people to support The Foundation’s work. “It can be difficult for someone with sight to understand what life would be like without it. The Sight Simulator will give you a sense of how the world would look if you had one of these completely avoidable conditions.”