Founder of Tip-n-Split, Connie Inukai

How inventing a product to help restaurant goers with aging eyesight led her to discovering Age-Related Macular Degeneration and inspired her to give back.

“I didn’t know about Macular Degeneration until I invented this product.”
Connie Inukai Founder Tip-n-Split

A few years ago, as she was approaching retirement, Connie Inukai found herself facing a challenge many do as they get older – reading small print in dimly lit restaurants. Instead of letting it go, she decided to find a solution. She set out to create a fun and useful product for restaurant goers who didn’t want to bring their smart phones to dinner.

The result is Tip-n-Split, a pocket sized magnifier, light, and calculator rolled into one.

Learning about AMD and Giving Back

In her journey to create Tip-n-Split and get it into the hands of people with diminishing eyesight, Connie started hearing about Macular Degeneration. Over and over it came up as she was meeting people at expos.

“So many people told me I could really use this, or my mom really needs this, she has Macular Degeneration. So many people seemed to have this, but I didn’t know anything about it, so I looked it up.”

Once Connie realized how many people were suffering from AMD, she wanted to make a contribution beyond the product. She reached out to us and let us know she wanted to give 10% of the proceeds from online sales to the cause of Macular Degeneration.

“At this stage in my life I want to start giving back.”

And she didn’t stop there. She sent us 12 Tip-n-Splits to give away as gifts. If you’d like to receive a Tip-n-Split for free, tell us about your Macular Degeneration solutions (or frustrating lack thereof) for reading the menu in dimly lit restaurants. We’ll send a Tip-n-Split to the first 12 commenters! Be sure to include your email so we can get in touch!

You can find out more about Connie and Tip-n-Split at

**UPDATE: (December 12) Connie was so moved by your comments she sent us 12 more Tip-n-Splits to give away for a total of 24!

56 responses to “Founder of Tip-n-Split, Connie Inukai”

  1. Mary Tan Avatar
    Mary Tan

    I have macular degeneration (wet) in my left eye since September 2015. Have received regular injection almost every one to two months. The last injection is on end July 2016. Review is appointed this month. Is there any solution to my condition. Many thanks to advise.

    1. Nadia C Avatar
      Nadia C

      Hi, Mary. May I ask what kind of injection have you use and how it help you or not ? Thanks.

    2. AMDF Avatar

      Hi Mary, we hope your review goes well. There’s no solution, or rather, cure for age-related macular degeneration at this time. Only treatments and lifestyle changes to potentially slow the progression of the disease. There are more resources and information on the rest of this site if you haven’t already reviewed. We wish you the best as you discover your best options for treatment and living with AMD.

  2. Larry Emerson Avatar
    Larry Emerson

    It seems that every where I go someone is giving away something. Recently I received a small (2 1/2″ long) flashlight. I carry it in my pocket as it is smaller than most of my pocket knives. When I visit any place that is dimly lit I pull out my flash light and read whatever I need to. A Tip-n-Split would be even more helpful.

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Larry, sounds like a great little flashlight! We’re happy you’re one of the first 12 commenters. Look for an email from us soon!

  3. Gloria Herman Avatar
    Gloria Herman

    I have worn glasses since age five and recently was told I have “Dresen Syndrome.”

    I knew something was off in my right but was surprised by the diagnosis. I am 69 years old so I am researching the disease. Thanks for the website.

    1. AMDF Avatar

      You’re welcome Gloria. Losing your sight is a difficult challenge, and it makes it worthwhile to know our work to bring you information offers some help in facing that challenge.

      Look for an email from us soon to get details on where to send your Tip-n-Split!

    2. AMDF Avatar

      Gloria, we just tried to email you to arrange mailing you one of the free Tip-n-Splits but the email bounced. If you see this reply, please email us through the contact form on our site with your correct email and mailing information!

  4. Lorraine Ebright Avatar
    Lorraine Ebright

    As a recent receiver of the news that I have AMD…I have experienced how I accept the limitation and feel more isolated and diminished…without looking for ways to cope. If you can’t read the menu, one can just say “order for me, “and miss out on the experience of making your own choice due to poor lighting!

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Lorraine, we’re happy that you’re one of the first 12 commenters and will receive a free Tip-n-Split. It may be a small tool, but we hope it helps you to feel less isolated and diminished. Look for an email from us soon!

  5. Linda Hoban Avatar
    Linda Hoban

    What a GREAT idea for helping us I have such a hard time ordering and instead of scanning the menu I order the same thing so from the bottom of my heart thank you I have macular in both eyes and I receive injections in both eyes monthly

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Linda, we hope this helps! Look for an email from us soon to get your mailing address so we can send you one of the 12 gift Tip-n-Splits. And I’m sure Connie would love to hear your feedback once you have a chance to use it.

  6. Barbara Avatar

    This sounds like a great idea! I usually have problems reading the menu and Bill . Sometimes I will ask my daughter to look at the menu and tell me about the items that I might be interested in. I found a similar item as the tip n split in a gift shop but it does not have the calculator built in. It seems like the Tip n split would be very helpful!

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Barbara, thanks for telling us about your challenges and solutions. We’re happy that you’re one of the first 12 commenters and we’ll be sending you an email soon to get details on where to send you a free Tip-n-Split as a gift.

    2. Edward skrobiszewski Avatar
      Edward skrobiszewski

      I have wet amd in right eye and dry amd in left eye. I get an injection of Eyela in right eye once a month which keeps it under control. Have 20/20 vision in left eye and 20/30 in right eye. In reduced light it is hard too read fine print. Sounds like device would be useful.

      1. AMDF Avatar

        Edward, we’d be happy to send you one of the complimentary Tip-n-Splits. Watch for an email from us for your mailing information!

  7. Elizabeth Speight Avatar
    Elizabeth Speight

    Yes, wonderful invention.. When. I want to pay the. Bill my friends alway figure it out and pay first beccauseI am so slow. Where can I buy one. At 96, I need my friend to take me to the store..

    Elizabeth speight

    1. admin Avatar

      Hi Elizabeth, as far as we know, the best place to buy one is to order online through their website But we’ll be sending you one as a gift for your comment! Look for an email from us soon.

      1. Elizabeth Speight Avatar
        Elizabeth Speight

        Thank you so much. I will look forward to receiving the tip and split.
        AMD makes it difficult to read menus and price tags in store and labels in Grocery store. I receive Elyea injections every 4-6 weeks. But gradually I notice my eyesight is failing especially near vision which is getting cloudy. Any research you learn about will be interesting and helpful to all of us with AMD.

        1. AMDF Avatar

          Thank you for your feedback and telling us more about your story Elizabeth. We do try to let people know about the latest research as it comes to us, and we’re hoping to do more of that on the website in the coming year. We’re a small team so keeping up with everything is a challenge!

  8. Pam hartwig Avatar
    Pam hartwig

    This is great. I have amd and also cystoid macular edema. This would would be a huge help with not only reading a menu but with other daily tasks. I get monthly injections for the past two years but they hardly work.

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Pam, it can be frustrating and disheartening when the treatments offered don’t work for you. We know researchers are trying to figure out why the injections work for some people and not others, but we hope eventually they’ll find a cure or better treatment options. But it sounds like you’re also doing everything to empower yourself. As one of the first 12 commenters, we’re happy to send you one of the free Tip-n-Splits Connie sent us. Look for an email from us soon.

  9. Susan Knabeschuh Avatar
    Susan Knabeschuh

    I also carry 2 small flashlights in my purse (in case one doesn’t work!) for restaurants and symphony concerts where the lighting is low. I want to be able to read a menu and the concert program before the symphony. I also have tried to find a smaller magnifying glass to carry in my purse, but haven’t found a smaller one that is clear enough to help yet.

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Susan, what a practical idea to bring two flashlights as backup. Thank you for sharing your challenges, and it’s good to know that there aren’t many options for portable and clear magnifying glasses. We hope you’ll find the Tip-n-Split we’ll be sending you (compliments of Connie) useful. Look for an email from us soon!

  10. Margaret Shanahan Avatar
    Margaret Shanahan

    I was diagnosed with Glaucoma and Dry Macular in both eyes. I had surgery on both eyes to lower the pressure but am frustrated that the research using stem cells is taking so long. I try to remember my little flashlight when I go out but do forget sometimes.

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Margaret, thank you for sharing your experience. We just spoke to someone the other day who expressed the same frustration with how long promising research can take. He told us about We haven’t looked into them yet, but thought I would pass it along to you in case you want to look into it. Of course, the hope is as awareness increases, so too does the amount of research into a given disease.

      You’re the 10th comment today, so we’re pleased we can send you one of the Tip-n-Splits Connie gave us to give away. Look for an email from us soon!

  11. Carol Avatar

    My 94 year old mother has AMD. She still manages to go out to eat with her friends. They only go to restaurants in the middle of the day and ask for a table near a window so that the lighting is bright enough to read the menu and the bill. She would benefit from a Tip-n-Split so that they could go to any restaurant, at any time of the day and not worry about seeing well.

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Carol, what a sweet gesture for your mother! Thanks for taking the time to share her experience.

      Your comment is #11 so look for an email from us in the next few days to get details of where to send.

  12. Virginia Mix Avatar
    Virginia Mix

    What a wonderful and helpful invention! I am 67 years old and was diagnosed with macular degeneration in September 2016. I have changed my eating habits 100 percent, but there are days where it is impossible for me to read a menu in low lighting, even with my reading glasses. Please tell me where I can buy this so I am no longer embarrassed when I go out, and can feel more independent. Thank you for inventing this wonderful tool for us.

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Virginia, this is a pretty recent diagnosis for you. Glad to hear you’ve changed your eating habits. It’s not a cure of course, but there are links to slowing the disease with nutrition.

      And guess what? You’re comment #12 so we’ll be sending you one of the Tip-n-Splits for free! You’re the last one. 🙂 Look for an email from us in the next couple of days!

      1. Virginia Mix Avatar
        Virginia Mix

        Thank you so much. All you do is really appreciated in so many ways. If there is anything that I can do to help in any way, I am happy to.

        1. AMDF Avatar

          Virginia, thank you for your support and generous offer. Probably the best way you can help is by raising awareness within your circle of friends and family, and certainly by keeping up with our news. Your feedback means a lot, and as we continually seek to serve the AMD community, feedback from our community is an invaluable resource!

  13. Jacqueline Daigle Avatar

    Jacqueline Daigle December 7, 2016 I was just diagnosed with macular degeneration in both eyes the dry kind in October, 2016, but I have notice that I’m having a harder time to read fine prints and my vision is getting more blurry. I was very overwhelmed when I found out so I am looking for information on AMD your web site was the first one that I look at. Please send any information that you have or web site that might help.

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Hi Jacqueline, so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Most of the information we have available is on our website. We’ll be continuing to add information as we can. There are other websites and blogs out there but we don’t have any particular recommendations at this time. If you want to clarify the information you’re looking for, you could contact us through the contact form on our site, or give us a call. Wishing you well!

  14. Jacqueline Daigle Avatar

    Thank you so much for your reply to my e-mail! I will be ordering one off those Tip-N-Split and the cookbook, and for the information on AMD what ever you can send will be great. I have already looked at your video’s and read what is posted on your web site. Thank you for all that you do it is appreciated.

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Jacqueline, if you haven’t ordered the Tip-n-Split yet, we’d love to send you one for free! Connie was so inspired by the comments she gave us another 12 to give away. Let us know if you’d like one!

  15. karen pocialik Avatar
    karen pocialik

    Hi everybody I sure hope you have great holidays. I have had constant problems with my eyes seven operations
    on my eyes going for 1 more. I know I have mac but I also had Fuchs Dystrophy. Bad news travels fast heres whats going on
    right eye done now we have the left one done. Cornea trans plants. When this is done I still have the mac to deal with.
    Its realy rough Im just trying to keep them going.

    1. AMDF Avatar

      That does sound rough Karen! We wish you the best on this journey.

      You’re the 14th comment and we have 24 Tip-n-Splits to give away. We’ll be emailing you to get your address!

  16. Linda Avatar

    I have Macular Degeneration (wet) in both eyes. It has been over four years now that I have been receiving injections. My vision in my left eye has improved to 20/70, the right eye is not so good at 20/400. If I didn’t use my smart phone I wouldn’t be able to read menus, see the controls on the stove and microwave and there’s so much more that I wouldn’t be able to see. I’m thankful for what vision I still have.

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Linda, glad to hear the injections are doing some good in your case. Not everyone sees improvement from the treatment. We’re happy to let you know you’re eligible for a free Tip-n-Split as commenter 15! Look for an email from us in the next few days to get your mailing details.

  17. Nona Hammon Avatar
    Nona Hammon

    Merry Christmas everyone. Have been enjoying all the AMD info you have for us and now this. I’ve had dry AMD for years and lately things are pretty blurry for me because of dazzle glare. I can’t handle glare in my eyes, so I wear sunglasses outdoors always and inside I have tried clipons in yellow and also amber fitovers. Still, when it comes to restaurants I am stuck in this dilemma: If I sit by the window where I can see, the glare blinds me and gives me a headache, but the interior of restaurants is often too dim for me to read the menu. This Tip and Split seems to be a great idea! Thanks for all you do to keep us informed and keepin’ on.

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Merry Christmas to you Nona! This post has been updated to announce that Connie sent 12 more Tip-n-Splits because she was so moved by the comments here. You’re eligible for one and we’d love to send it to you! Watch for an email in the coming days to get your mailing details.

  18. Eileen Copeland Avatar
    Eileen Copeland

    I have AMD (wet) in my right eye, glaucoma in both and have had my cataracts fixed. I am getting Eyelea injections, now every other month. They have really helped, but I am not writing for myself. I have a friend who also has AMD (dry) and from what I read, there isn’t much that can be done for her. The last time we met for breakfast she whipped out a magnifying glass and really had to struggle to read the menu. She is on a very fixed income after seeing her husband through a long struggle with Parkinson’s, it used up all their resources. She could really use one of your Tip-n-Split for daily living. Thank you

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Eileen, that is so wonderfully kind of you to take the time to comment on behalf of your friend. Connie was so moved by the comments here that she sent us 12 more Tip-n-Splits to give away so we would love to send one to your friend. Watch for an email from us in the coming days to get her mailing information (or we can send it to you so you can give it to her yourself if you’d like!).

  19. Mr Gayle Mason Avatar
    Mr Gayle Mason

    I was diagnosed with mac about 8 mos ago… I’ve noticed my sight isn’t as sharp at a distance as it used to be, and at 75 yrs I don’t like the dimly lit, romantic restaurantes like I used too.. I never saw this coming and now I’m just trying to get my mind into the right frame for what the future holds and how I will deal with it from a positive mental approach…

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Mr. Mason, it sounds like you’re on a good path to approaching your diagnosis with a positive mental approach. We wish you the best on your journey, and are happy to let you know that you’re eligible for a free Tip-n-Split as comment 18! Watch for an email from us to get your mailing information.

  20. Ilene Avatar

    Got diagnosed in March 2015. Avastin is not helping as much as doctor would like . Trying a sample of Eylea.. Any suggestions of what has worked for others would be helpful . Night driving is difficult . Reading bills and menus require lots of light . I’m starting Medicare which should help with the cost of Eylea . Reading on my iPad is very helpful . I can adjust the size and light .. Open for suggestions

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Ilene, we hope you and your doctor are able to find a treatment that helps slow the progression of your AMD! We’d love to send you one of the free Tip-n-Splits too (you’re commenter 19). We’ll just need to know where to send it, so look for an email from us in the next day or so.

  21. Mary Avatar

    Mary from Upstate NY
    I am thrilled to see conversation among AMD patients since feeling so isolated since my dx in June, 2016. I would love to see a private FaceBook discussion group develop, but am happy to see this beginning conversation. I know no one else with AMD. I have monthly injections (Eylea) in my right eye, and have Dry AMD in my left. I’m 64 and am told I’m “young” to have AMD. It is very difficult to think about life ahead with reduced eyesight and I think anything that makes sight in dim places easier give us patients added independence. I look forward to grandchildren one day and hope that more inventions can assist us all in socializing with our friends and families!

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Mary, so glad you’re enjoying the little burst of conversation here. We have thought about creating a discussion/support group through Facebook or some other means. We’re a small team and monitoring and moderating such a group would require a lot of hands on we’re not sure we have sufficient resources for, but we’ll put it back on the table for discussion!

      We’re hoping new inventions are coming up too! In the meantime, as commenter 20, you’re eligible for a free Tip-n-Split. Look for an email from us in the next day or so to get your mailing information so we can send it out to you.

  22. Mary Jo Jordine Avatar
    Mary Jo Jordine

    This sounds awesome! I lost my left eye to cancer and now I have the dry MD in my right eye. It seems to be progressing rapidly. I knew this day would probably come but I still wasn’t really ready for it. I cannot read menus or the bill. I went to my granddaughter’s Christmas Spectaculrar and couldn’t read the program. I had a magnifier but no light. This is a wonderful idea. Where is it for sale and how much will it cost? Thank you for creating this new tool for all of us!

    1. AMDF Avatar

      Mary Jo, so sorry to hear about your vision loss!

      Just to clarify, we didn’t create the Tip-n-Split, Connie Inukai did, and you can find out more about it (and purchase) at BUT, Connie gave us 12 to give away, and then 12 more! We’re giving away free Tip-n-Splits to the first 24 commenters here, and you’re #22, so we’d be happy to send you one free! Look for an email from us in the next day or so to get your mailing information so we can send it to you.

      1. Mary Jo Jordine Avatar
        Mary Jo Jordine

        What a Great Christmas present!!! Thank you so much and a Very Merry Christmas to everyone!

  23. Eileen Copeland Avatar
    Eileen Copeland

    On behalf of my friend, I thank you. I know she will enjoy using it and it should make her life so much easier. Hope all of you have a Happy Holliday Season and Happy New Year!

  24. Judy Martin Avatar
    Judy Martin

    I just discovered your AMDF website – and am very happy that I did! I am 70 years old and have wet AMD in my right eye, and dry AMD in my left eye. I was just diagnosed with wet AMD this year, and just had my 3rd injection with Avastin yesterday. My doctor (and his team) are all excellent – making the injections as pain-free and stress-free as possible. I was petrified before the first one (I must confess), but now I feel like an “old pro” at receiving them. I came to your website to discover what I could about EYELEA, as my doctor wants to give me this injection in 4 weeks, for my next 3 injections, instead of more Avastin. Thanks very much for sharing all new info on treatments for both wet and dry AMD!! I always carry both a magnifying glass and a small flashlight in my purse, as I can rarely read the menu at most restaurants. The Tip and Split sounds wonderful! I will go to Connie’s website and order one. And I can hardly wait to get your delivery of both the Feast For Your Eyes 2017 Calendar, plus the Eat Right for your Eyesight cookbook, along with your 3 free DVDs on AMD. Thanks SO much for this web site! I also registered to receive your AMDF updates via email – and I appreciate the fact that you provide this service. Thanks very much!

  25. […] Why we love it –  Restaurants are the WORST for the visually impaired with their dim lighting and small print menus. This device is more discreet than a smartphone, pocket-sized, and super easy to use. And you can read about the founder’s story here. […]

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