eSight® Electronic Glasses

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: May 2023

For some individuals, vision loss is gradual, while for others, it might come on suddenly. In macular degeneration, central vision is usually affected. You might have blind spots, blurriness, or black spots in your central vision, while your peripheral vision remains intact. The vision loss it does cause, however, can have a significant impact on the lives of those affected.

There are a variety of assistive devices and technologies to help adapt to life with visual impairment, including eSight® glasses. The devices and technologies you use can vary, depending on your specific needs and your degree of vision loss.

What are eSight glasses?

eSight glasses are electronic glasses with a handheld controller. The glasses look like a virtual reality headset, but there is a high-speed, high-definition camera in the front of them that captures what you are looking at in real time and optimizes the images to help you see clearly. It transmits the images onto two screens in the glasses. There are also options for high contrast and light sensitivity.

The glasses help to optimize the sight you do have, so if you have no functional vision, these might not be the best option for you. The battery of the glasses lasts approximately 7 to 8 hours, although there is an extra power pack that can be purchased.

Glasses that preserve vision

The eSight glasses enable you to see more clearly, providing you with more independence and the ability to perform certain activities with impaired vision. It preserves peripheral vision while improving your central vision, so you can still see from various perspectives, ensuring your safety and encouraging optimal mobility. The handheld device that powers the glasses lets you adjust the contrast and focus as needed, giving you a personalized picture of the world around you.

Are they covered by insurance?

eSight glasses are expensive and not covered by insurance. Although some people report being partially reimbursed, insurance coverage can vary and there is no guarantee that you will be reimbursed at all. There are payment plans, but this can still be quite an expense.

The glasses help maximize your existing vision, so if your functional vision becomes significantly worse, these might cease to be helpful. This might be something to consider before purchasing. The glasses might only be useful for a short amount of time, depending on how quickly your macular degeneration progresses.1

Interested in eSight glasses?

If you are interested in the eSight glasses, it is worth talking with your eye doctor about their advice or opinions about the glasses, or if other clients have had good or bad experiences with them. The glasses might not be for everyone, but if you are a good candidate and think they might be helpful to you, it may be a treatment option worth exploring.

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