What is Low Vision?
Low Vision is a visual impairment that cannot be corrected adequately by standard eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery. Low vision interferes with a person’s ability to perform everyday living activities. Reading the mail, crossing the street, cooking, writing and watching T.V. can all become challenging in the presence of low vision. Low vision can result from eye injuries, birth defects or acquired diseases of the eye, such as: Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, Cataracts and Retinitis Pigmentosa. By definition, low vision falls between having visual acuity between 20/60 and 20/190. Visual acuity worse than 20/200 is defined as blind. You can also have low vision due to a significant restriction in your field of view, such as what can occur with glaucoma or retinitis pigmentosa, making it very difficult to navigate safely. 20/60 means you can see at 20 feet what a person with 20/20 vision can see at a distance of 60 feet.
Is Low Vision common?
Unfortunately, yes. Having Low Vision is the third most common physical impairment in those over the age of 65, exceeded only by heart disease and arthritis. With our aging population, it will also become more common and the most likely cause being Age-Related Macular Degeneration. By making use of their remaining vision, many people who are visually impaired can find help with the use of Low Vision Aids.
What is Low Vision Care?
Low Vision Care is the evaluation and management of patients that are visually impaired, by either an eye care specialist or rehabilitation professional. Their goal is to help those with low vision to overcome the handicapping effects of their visual impairment. Based on individual lifestyle needs, solutions will be sought to help each patient achieve their vision and lifestyle goals. This may include the recommendation of products known as Low Vision Aids. Low vision aids can come in the form of handheld or spectacle worn magnifying lenses, both conventional or battery-assisted. Digital magnifiers and LED technologies are making great strides in offering many vision solutions for varied vision tasks and environments.
How do I get started?
The first step is to seek help. This is often difficult because of a person’s initial tendency to deny a problem exists or due to related depression. Family members that can identity the need and provide support for the family member is often very important in helping low vision patients seek and accept the benefits a low vision specialist can provide.
Dr. Sciberras has been specially trained to:
- assist those suffering with low vision in finding solutions and training those to use magnifying and adaptive vision devices
- develop strategies to safely navigate around the home and in public
- identify the correct tint of sunglasses, as patients with low vision are often extremely distressed by outdoor light
- teaching new daily living skills to maintain your independence based on your visual status and unique needs.
Contact us today!
Contact our office to schedule a Low Vision Evaluation. To prepare you for your visit, we will send an introduction letter for understanding low vision and a short questionnaire to help you and your family identify your visual needs and current shortcomings. Please bring any eyeglasses or vision aids, including sunglasses, that you are currently using. These will greatly assist Dr. Sciberras in developing a management plan for you.
Where there is a will, there is a way!