Veteran with Macular Degeneration Receives Autofocusing Bioptic

Henry Greene, OD, FAAOLow Vision Resources, Macular Degeneration, Success Stories

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Mr. Bill Feimster, drafted just as he turned 18 to serve in the Philippines during WWII, came back to North Carolina to marry the woman he called “the most beautiful girl in the world.” He became a mechanic and was happily married for 54 years.

“He could fix anything and wanted to know how everything worked.” Karen Townsend (Bill's Daughter)

Unfortunately, Bill developed macular degeneration losing most of the vision in his right eye.  With modern medical treatment he has been able to keep enough vision in his left eye that low vision aids helped him to stay engaged, happy and still fixing things.

But with a bad neck, and head and hand tremors it was difficult for him to hold and focus binoculars so he could watch his grandchildren play baseball—one of his most favorite activities.

With his low vision specialist, Dr. Patti Fuhr, Chief of the Advanced Low Vision Section at the Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC , Bill explored new options to meet his special needs.

Dr. Fuhr prescribed a brand new device designed for the visually impaired called the Ocutech Falcon Autofocus bioptic. With this new telescope, Mr. Feimster was able to see four times further away, close enough to his normal vision that he was able to see his family from across the room. And, because it’s mounted on eyeglasses and autofocuses, he doesn’t have the challenge of having to hold it or manually focus the device to see at different distances.

“It’s just like upside down bifocals,” he said. With the Falcon, wherever Bill looks the image is clear right away, hands-free, just like normal vision. Being the mechanic that he is, he even had an opportunity, using his magnifier, to look inside a sample Falcon to see how it worked.

And, now, thanks to Dr. Fuhr and the Salisbury VA Advanced Low Vision Service, and his new Falcon low vision telescope, Bill is looking forward to next year’s baseball season to begin.