Low Vision is a bilateral impairment to vision that significantly impairs the functioning of the patient and cannot be adequately corrected with medical, surgical, therapy, conventional eyewear or contact lenses. It is often a loss of sharpness or acuity but may present as a loss of field of vision, light sensitivity, distorted vision or loss of contrast. Low vision often may occur as a result of birth defects, injury, the aging process or as a complication of disease.
Low Vision services do not cure the cause of the vision problem but rather utilize the remaining vision to its fullest potential. Low vision care does not replace the need for other concurrent treatments such as laser, medication and surgery. Low vision doctors prescribe prescription eyewear, filters, microscopic - telescopic eyewear, magnifiers, adaptive equipment, closed circuit television systems, independent living devices, training and counsel patients.
WHAT CAUSES LOW VISION ?
Disorders affecting the eye or visual system can result in low vision. Birth defects, injuries, diseases or the aging process can cause impairment of eyesight. Common conditions include macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa. While many conditions can be treated with medication or surgery, some damage to the tissue may remain, resulting in low vision.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF SUCCESS?
Success with low vision devices is relative. First, a certain level of vision must be present in order to benefit from optical devices. Second, motivation is necessary; anyone who decides to use low vision devices must be flexible and willing to work within the limitations of the devices. If those limitations are overcome, the chances of success are good.
WHAT ARE VISUAL DEVICES?
Visual devices may be special optical lenses, telescopes, magnifiers, visors, filters, reading stands, lamps, large print, or many other devices that improve a low vision patient’s visual performance. Though standard spectacle corrections may be one type of device, most visual devices can be very different, and may involve some compromise and adaptation by the low vision patient. For example: The visual device may be more encumbering than spectacles, or reading material may have to be held very close. The degree of compromise varies with each low vision patient. Most people will readily adapt to a device and that provides some measure of improved visual performance
WILL VISUAL DEVICES CURE MY VISION?
No! Using visual devices will not affect your eyes, thus visual devices will not cause your eye problem to get better or worse. Low vision devices do not cure or restore your vision to normal sight, but you should perform visual tasks better while using
To gain the magnification necessary to see print or other small items, you may have to be very close. This does not hurt your eyes, although it may take some practice getting used to the different posture.
The proper degree of light may vary between various forms of vision loss. Some people may find they prefer dimmer illumination. More importantly, the light source you select should be positioned to reduce glare. Typically, the least amount of light positioned over their shoulder.
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