Low Vision Therapy
Few people are totally without sight. Most individuals today classified as “blind” actually have remaining sight and, thanks to developments in the field of low vision rehabilitation, can be helped to make good us of it, improving their quality of life. Visual impairments take many forms and exist in varying degrees.
It is important to understand that visual acuity alone is not a good predictor of the degree of problems a person may have. Someone with relatively good acuity (e.g. 20/40) can have difficulty functioning, while someone with worse acuity ( e.g. 20/200) might not be having any real problems. At our office we provide low vision exams to determine the amount of vision loss and what the goals of the patient are.
Examples of vision goals may be watching T.V., computer work, reading music, and the list goes on, but the point is that a majority of time we can find ways to help patients get back to doing what they love. Once the needs are determined we have quality products to choose from. Many of our low vision devices are Eschenbach brand. Since 1983, Eschenbach Optik of America has sought to provide low vision care providers with the finest quality, most technologically advanced magnification devices.
Finally, many patients need more assistance with everyday living in order to maintain their independence. Our office works with The Light House for the Blind for additional help for these patients. The take message is that there are a lot of new options for patients with loss of vision to ensure a better quality of life.
Visual Impairment – Handicap or Hurdle?
People with visual impairment sometimes feel alone. They are not. There are, conservatively, 3.4 million Americans with significant visual impairment (also known as low vision), with some estimates as high as 13.5 million.
Many are unable to read ordinary print or do other simple activities of daily living even with conventional eyeglasses or contact lenses. Others have a narrow field of view, like looking through a tunnel.
Visual impairment is a hurdle which CAN be overcome. Many people have done it. While it is true that in many cases vision cannot be restored medically or surgically, low vision rehabilitation can offer help to everyone. It takes desire, determination, and a willingness to accept a new way of seeing. The reward that waits is the ability to handle daily activities and to maintain independence.
Understanding Visual Impairment
Some people are born with low vision. In others, a visual impairment develops later in life through illness, injury, or the aging process. Whether a child, teen, adult, or older adult, an understanding of the situation is essential.
Low Vision Rehabilitation
Low vision exams concentrate on the diagnosis and treatment of the visual impairments, using specific diagnostic and examination techniques for the appropriate management of the specific visual impairment. This is crucial to maintain and maximize visual function.
Maximizing Potential for Success
To benefit most from low vision rehabilitation, it is important to have a realistic understanding of what can be done.
Visual impairment is caused by damage to some aspect of the visual system, which cannot be fully repaired or fully corrected with conventional lenses. Low vision devices, in the form of specialized optical, electro-optical, or non optical systems, can often help use remaining vision more effectively. These treatment options require adjustment as well as practice to be used most efficiently. Sometimes additional rehabilitation therapies are indicated to improve visual functioning. Dr Bovio will prescribe the most appropriate system(s) for an individual’s needs, explain how the device(s) work, arrange for the person with a visual impairment to learn how to use the device(s), and arrange for additional therapies as indicated.
The most important ingredient, however, is the person with a visual impairment, whose own desire and motivation will go along way in insuring successful rehabilitation.
We look forward to helping you achieve your goals.