In the case of those suffering from vision loss or visual impairment, glasses or contact lenses are not enough to help correct eyesight. Low vision is a term that categorizes significant vision impairment that is not correctable by conventional methods. It is diagnosed based on decreased visual acuity (how small you can see on the eye chart) or visual field (loss of peripheral vision) during a low vision examination.
What Causes Low Vision?
There are several common eye diseases with the potential to progress and result in low vision. For example, serious cases of macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy can cause significant vision loss. If left untreated, glaucoma may result in a low vision diagnosis. Inherited eye conditions, such as retinitis pigmentosa, are rarer causes of low vision. Even eye injuries can significantly decrease vision and result in a low vision diagnosis.
Low Vision Examination
A low vision examination is a unique encounter intended to maximize usable and functional vision. Unlike regular comprehensive exams, low vision exams may not revolve around treatment of the eye disease; instead, they explore different devices and adaptive techniques to allow the patient to use the vision they have in order to achieve specific goals.
There are lots of special devices that aim to help low vision patients. Many devices are used to increase magnification. Hand held magnifiers, strong reading glasses, and even special computers or apps can help provide enough magnification to improve reading or daily tasks. There are even specially designed telescopes to allow low vision patients to more clearly see objects in the distance. Each low vision patient will have specific magnification needs, and a low vision specialist can help address that.
Besides optical devices, low vision specialists have many suggestions for daily adaptations to help patients with vision impairments live more independently. They can typically help patients receive special training for improved mobility, and can help patients address the need for workplace or school accommodations.
Vision loss is a scary and frustrating thing to face, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Wilmington Family Eye Care, the doctors and staff are well trained to help patients with vision impairments maximize their usable vision and function independently. If you or a loved one is visually impaired, ask about our low vision services!
IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR VISION OR THINK YOU MAY BENEFIT FROM A LOW VISION EXAMINATION CALL US AT (302) 999-1286. WE PROVIDE COMPREHENSIVE EYE EXAMS TO WILMINGTON, NEWARK, NEW CASTLE, CLAYMONT AND OTHER NEARBY DELAWARE AREAS!