What is Low Vision?
Low vision refers to irreversible or generally untreatable vision loss leading to visual impairment and/or visual disability. Common conditions that result in low vision include macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, retinitis pigmentosa, and ocular trauma.
What is Low Vision Therapy?
Low vision therapy refers to the use of specialized devices or techniques aimed at maximizing remaining visual functions and is often task-specific. It frequently includes the use of magnifying aids such as handheld or stand magnifiers, telescopes, telemicroscopes, digital magnifiers, or eccentric viewing techniques. Lighting, color contrast, text-to-speech, large print, and auditory devices are also utilized in low vision therapy.
Who Needs Low Vision Therapy?
If you or a loved one has suffered vision loss and can no longer function adequately for specific tasks such as reading, driving, or performing occupational duties, you may be a good candidate for low vision therapy.
Who Conducts Low Vision Therapy?
Low vision therapy is typically commenced under the direction of a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist who specializes in low vision patients. In our La Grande clinic, Dr. Glabe performs low vision examinations including full evaluation of ocular health and visual function and determination of magnification and lighting needs. His residency in low vision and ocular disease included regular time at a prominent Veterans Administration regional low vision clinic in Kansas City.
Once an initial low vision examination has been performed, an individual may be referred to a low vision therapist. Low vision therapists are typically occupational therapists with specialty training or interest in low vision and assist in training individuals on the use of specific vision assistive devices in either a home or clinical setting.
How Can I Schedule an Appointment for a Low Vision Examination?
If you have an existing eye care practitioner, please request a referral to be sent to our clinic for a low vision exam. If you have no current eye doctor or are uncomfortable requesting a referral, please forward any medical records relevant to your vision loss to our clinic prior to seeing us for an appointment. When calling or emailing us to request an appointment, please mention that you are seeking a low vision evaluation as we prefer to schedule more time for your visit than for a standard eye examination.