Questions for Vision-ary high tech

A close-up of a woman's eyes. New devices may one day prevent or even reverse vision lost to disease.



Before reading

1.         You probably know someone who has vision problems. How is that person’s vision affected? What kind of technology do they use to improve their vision?

2.         Come up with a list of five ways in which your life would be affected if you were not able to see clearly.

During reading

1.            How does macular degeneration affect a person’s vision?

2.            The telescopic lenses being developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology work with a pair of glasses. What do those glasses do?

3.            Why can the telescopic lenses be worn for only an hour or so at a time?

4.            Why would Daniel Palanker want to implant tiny devices in an eye?

5.            Why do Palanker’s devices need to be worn with special glasses?

6.            What does it mean to have 20/20 vision?

7.            What does the optic nerve do?

8.            Why is glaucoma so dangerous?

9.            What is the purpose of the thin film inside the pressure gauge being developed by Giovanni Salvatore and colleagues?

After reading

1.         The scientists in this story have invented several ways to help improve people’s vision. But it could be years until their inventions are used in people. What would happen during that delay? And what might prevent the inventions from ever being used in real patients?

2.         Brainstorm three ways to help people with vision problems outside of improving their vision.


1.         Using the information provided in this article, calculate the number of circuits that would fit into a square area measuring 10 millimeters (0.4 inch) on each side. How many times more circuits are in a 10-millimeter-square area than in a 5-millimeter-square one?