Simulation Specs

Last week was National Eye Health Week, and to take part in raising awareness, some of the staff over at Visioncall went about their daily tasks in the office while wearing the Vine Simulation Specs.

The Vine Simulation Package was designed in 1984 by sight loss professionals.  The training pack of simulation specs enables you to gain a first-hand view of understanding people’s daily struggles with the most common eye conditions such as Glaucoma, Cataract and AMD (Age-related macular degeneration).




What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a common eye condition that damages the optic

nerve and can cause sight loss.

The optic nerve transmits visual information from your eye to your brain to process.

regular sight test can detect and diagnose Glaucoma, which is why it’s essential to attend your routine sight test.

What was it like for someone without Glaucoma to go about their daily task with the Simulation Specs?

‘it is like your vision is fine, and you can see clearly. However, the scope of what you can see is so small. I could only see someone’s head, and I couldn’t see anything else around it.’

‘You wouldn’t be able to see anything unless it was directly in front of you. When I was looking to me right and left, I couldn’t say a thing.’



What is Cataracts?

Cataracts is an eye condition where the lens in our eyes becomes cloudy and affects how light enters the eye.

This condition forms inside the eye, rather than over it. It’s a common misconception that a cataract forms over or outside the eye.

A cataract can develop in either one or both of your eyes as part of the eye’s natural ageing.

What was it like for someone without Cataracts to go about their daily task with the Simulation Specs?

‘I can’t read anything. All I can see while looking at this sign is a circle shape and a dark coloured background.’

‘I’m going to try and move closer to see if that helps. Now I can make out that it says reduce but other than that, I am completely guessing.’

AMD (Age-related macular degeneration)


What Is AMD?

Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is one of many types of macular disease. AMD causes a blind spot in your central field of vision, and usually, it doesn’t affect peripheral vision.

Common symptoms of AMD include visual distortions, such as straight lines looking wavy.

Over time your vision can worsen, affecting your ability to do things such as read, drive and recognise faces.

What was it like for someone without AMD to go about their daily task with the Simulation Specs?

‘I am going to send an email to my colleague using the computer. I am struggling even to see my screen; the only way I can see is if I bring myself up closer.’

‘I can see underneath a little while wearing the specs, but with my central vision, I can’t see the screen at all. It is just completely dark.’


At Visioncall, we believe in better overall eye health to help our patients see better and live better. If you are a care home manager and are worried about your residents’ eye health, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team to arrange a visit from one of our optometrists. 

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