Hi-tech glasses gift brings clear sight to vision-impaired college student

Thanks to new advances in technology, this college student can now focus in class.

PORT TOBACCO, MD. - Technology once used by fighter pilots is now helping everyday people see. 

Special electronic glasses called E-Sight have built-in cameras that can correct the vision of legally blind people, Prathma Jhala, 24.  The Port Tobacco, Md. woman is studying psychology at University of Maryland  University College. But with her vision trouble, it's difficult to see what's going on in class. Her eyes don't work together, so she reads with just one eye at a time.   

But all that is changing, thanks to Ross and Sandi Pitrelli who have given Prathma a pair of E-Sight glasses that look like gaming goggles.   

"Her glasses have computer and camera technology in each side, and they assimilate it, and send that to the center of her best vision field," explained Sandi.   

Sandi's sister Jean (Margaret Hasofsky) was also legally blind, but discovered E-Sight glasses five years ago, which changed her life completely.  After Jean died last March, instead of selling her glasses, the Pitrellis decided to trade in the glasses for an upgrade so that they could give them to Prathma, the daughter of a friend.   

The glasses allow Prathma to see distances clearly.  She can even read what's written on a white car 12 feet away.

"It gives me power that I never had before....good to know that I can do stuff on my own. I don't need help with little things like reading stuff," said Prathma.  

When Sandi's sister Jean first got the glasses, they were bigger and more expensive, costing  $15,000.  Now they're smaller and lighter and cost $10,000. The Pitrellis are hoping that opens the door for more people with vision impairment. They're  planning to start a foundation that helps do just that, bringing E-Sight to many.  

"If I could go through this once a week, I'd be in heaven already," said Ross Pitrelli. 

The electronic glasses are call E-sight and are made by a Canadian company. 

© 2018 WUSA-TV


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