Most people develop low vision because of eye diseases or health conditions such as macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, and diabetes.
Some people develop vision loss after eye injuries, brain injuries, stroke or from birth defects. While vision that is lost usually cannot be restored, many people can make the most of the vision they have. A low vision optometrist helps patients enhance their remaining vision by prescribing special low vision eyeglasses, magnifiers, telescopes, electronic low vision aids, prisms to expand the visual field, and non-optical aids. Low vision optometrists and opticians provide training on how to use these devices. Some examples of these devices are as follows:
- Hand Held Magnifiers
- Stand Magnifiers
- Prism Glasses
- Hand Held Telescopes
- Spectacle Mounted Telescopes
- Hand Held Electronic Devices
- Computer Screen Magnifiers/Readers
- Large Print Books/Magazines/Playing Cards
- Sewing Magnifier, Needle Threaders
- Check Writing/ Envelope/Signature Guides
- Task Lighting
How We Are Able to Treat Low Vision
As an optometrist with a special interest in low vision, Dr. Staci Anderson works with patients to make the most of their remaining vision. Before the low vision evaluation can take place, you need to have a recent dilated eye examination with your optometrist or ophthalmologist. A low vision evaluation does not take the place of your scheduled eye examinations and follow-up visits. Please have your eye doctor fax your examination information and glasses prescription, or you can bring this information to your low vision appointment. Before you come to your appointment, think about the things you are having the most trouble with, and rank them in order of importance. If possible, bring these items to you appointment (example: books, newspaper, checkbook). You should also bring any glasses, magnifiers or other devices you have used, even if they do not work well. At your appointment, Dr. Anderson will check your vision and do a careful determination of your glasses prescription. She will assess your visual needs and recommend one or more low vision devices to meet your primary goal. This may be glasses, magnifiers, telescopes, or electronic devices. Our office carries a variety of low vision aids that you can try at your appointment. You will be trained on how to use each device by our opticians experienced in low vision. We recommend returning to see Dr. Anderson two weeks after you receive your new low vision aid for a follow up appointment. The purpose of the follow up is to assess how the new device is working for you and to work toward any other visual goals you might have. We will provide additional demonstration and training if needed.