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Why All Low Vision Patients Are Upset

Bifocal Type R.By Richard J. Shuldiner, OD, FAAO, FIALVS, Chief Clinical Editor

In 1960, at the age of seven, Wayne F. was diagnosed with amblyopia in his left eye (commonly referred to as Lazy Eye), but it was left untreated. As an adult, Wayne scheduled regular eye exams every few years and received new glasses each time the vision in his right eye changed. In November of 2019, it was time to renew his driver’s license. During all previous DMV visits, Wayne could read the vision charts with the help of glasses. This trip was different.

How Wayne Suddenly Became a Low Vision Patient

Wayne’s vision had slowly deteriorated to the point where the DMV eye chart became impossible to read, and, to his surprise, his license was revoked. Wayne scheduled an appointment with his eye doctor to get new glasses. He expected that a new prescription would improve his vision enough to get his driver’s license reinstated. It also seemed like an opportunity to get new frames and a new look. That’s when Wayne received the news that dry macular degeneration had developed in his right eye, and that new glasses would not improve his vision. He was told, “Nothing more can be done.”

Wayne was devastated. Confusion and worry took over as he asked himself, “How will I get to work? How will I pay the mortgage? How will I support my family? What will become of me?”

Low Vision Patients Have a Reason to Be Upset

ALL low vision patients are upset. Every one of them. And it doesn’t matter if they have a happy disposition, a good attitude or have “accepted” it. They are upset.

As we know, Wayne is not alone. Many patients are struggling with the shocking news that new glasses will not restore their vision. Loss of vision is one of the major fears that people have. When it happens, the upset can be truly debilitating.

Definition of Low Vision

What exactly is “low vision”? There are many ways to say it, but for me, this is the most understandable: Best corrected vision is insufficient to do what you want to do.

The definition contains two variables: vision and task— the amount of vision available to work with, and the tasks the patient wants to be able to do. A person with no visual goals does not have low vision, regardless of the extent of vision loss.

What Is it Like?

Consider the plight of most of the low vision patients we see. They have had decent vision for most of their lives. They needed glasses at some point, for any of the refractive reasons, including presbyopia. Some solved their conditions with glasses, others with contact lenses, vision therapy, or a surgical procedure. In each case, these solutions enabled them to see well enough to do what they wanted to do.

Now, after scores of eye examinations over the years, they once again don’t see well. Still confident that their vision can be corrected, they make an appointment with clear expectations and intentions: stylish new frames, better contacts, clearer vision to enjoy life and be productive. After all, they’ve been through this many times. Only this time, it doesn’t happen.

Instead, they are told they have an “eye condition” that has caused them to lose vision permanently!

And, they are told that if there is a treatment, it won’t bring back the vision they have lost!

And, they may lose more vision!

And it could happen at any time!

And they might go blind!

And lastly, they are told, “There’s nothing more we can do!”

Each sentence stabs like a knife.

What Being Upset Is All About

Surprisingly, there are only three things that upset human beings.

  • Unfulfilled expectations
  • Thwarted intentions
  • Undelivered communications

Think about any time you have ever been upset. Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of who you think was to blame, regardless of what “they” did, regardless of the topic or whom it was with, the upset falls into one or more of the above three categories.

No one expects to lose vision permanently.

No one expects to hear these words from their eye doctor: “There’s nothing more that can be done.”

The expectation is that the doctor will have a solution to the problem.

The intention is to get new glasses, see better, get new frames and have a new, fashionable look.

They walk out in a daze, unable to communicate or even think clearly.

Upset Reactions

Three things happen to a human being when they become upset:

  • A shift in reality
  • A loss of affinity
  • A decrease in communication

Everyone knows not to make decisions when upset. Why? Because the shift in perception of reality leads to bad decisions. We’ve all experienced a reduction in both love and appreciation when we are upset with a loved one. And, we all know that getting someone to open up and communicate when they are upset is nearly impossible.

Words From an Eye Doctor

Life is full of unexpected and upsetting events and, like a flash of lightning, life can change in an instant. An event, such as being told you have Macular Degeneration (or some other vision-affecting eye condition) and that new glasses won’t help, becomes so upsetting that clear thinking is virtually impossible. What I’ve seen over the years while working with low vision patients is a state of chaos, of not knowing what to do, who to turn to, and how to deal with permanent vision loss. Confusion and fear take over as people have no idea what their lives will be like or what they should do.

Providing a Future

When faced with “going blind,” all the hopes and dreams of the future seem to be destroyed. The idea of having time to read great novels, travel to see famous sights, watch the grandchildren play their sports, and more is crushed in their minds. The future they have imagined is gone.

This is where low vision care comes in. People need a future to live into. can give them that and reduce the turmoil they feel.

We are telling our patients today: “There is life after vision loss. There are low vision doctors who can help to keep you doing those things you love. Your life is not over.”

Advanced LOW VISION CARE is available at and a fulfilling life is attainable. Low vision glasses (i.e. telescopes, microscopes, prismatics, filters, etc.), low vision devices, adaptive technology, large print materials, and auxiliary professionals, such as Occupational Therapists and Orientation/Mobility specialists are available. is a member of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists and has years of experience treating and caring for low vision patients.

This article first appeared here: https://emailactivity1.ecn5.com/engines/publicPreview.aspx?blastID=2606173&emailID=387066764

Is It Possible to Read and Write With Macular Degeneration?

man reading a newspaper 3393375Once you’ve been diagnosed with macular degeneration, you may find yourself overwhelmed with questions. The uncertainty as to whether you will be able to read, write, and recognize faces can be depressing. Before you let these concerns weigh you down, contact a low vision optometrist, such as at , dedicated to helping macular degeneration patients live independent, fulfilling lives.

The Importance of Vision in Daily Tasks

“To help a person do what he or she wants to do” is the central idea behind the work of every low vision optometrist. Our goal is to enable patients to carry out activities that are important to them. The ability to engage in daily tasks concerns patients with macular degeneration the most, as many routine activities, such as reading and writing, rely on central vision.

Reading With Macular Degeneration

Think about how often throughout the day you use your eyes to read labels, street signs, bills, or restaurant menus.

With the loss of central vision, reading can become a true challenge. The good news is that there are devices that can enable you to read again, even with macular degeneration.

Writing With Macular Degeneration

Your grandchildren are about to come for dinner, and you want to cook their favorite dish. First, you need to write the shopping list to buy the necessary groceries. And maybe you want to leave a note for your spouse on the fridge to let them know you went shopping.

With the help of low vision glasses provided by an IALVS optometrist, an eye doctor with advanced training in treating patients with vision loss, you can write shopping lists, sign checks, or fill in your favorite crossword puzzles.

Recognizing Faces With Macular Degeneration

Reading and writing are technical tasks. However, central vision loss due to macular degeneration can have an emotional impact as well. Being able to see the delighted smiles on your grandchildren’s faces when you serve them their favorite dish can bring tremendous joy.

IALVS optometrists understand the emotional impact of vision loss and will address your concerns with compassion. will work to maximize your vision every step of the way, so you can continue to enjoy looking into the eyes of your loved ones.

What Type of Low Vision Glasses Do You Need?

Different types of low vision glasses enable macular degeneration patients to accomplish the tasks mentioned above. These include telescopic, microscopic, and prismatic reading glasses.

Prismatic glasses and microscopic glasses are designed for reading and writing. Both can provide the magnification needed for reading and writing. Thanks to these lenses, you can continue to engage in the activities you enjoy, such as play cards, knit sweaters, or build airplane models.

For face recognition, a low vision optometrist may recommend telescopic lenses. These help you clearly see things at a far distance — such as the face of a child walking towards you from the front gate.

Consult a Low Vision Optometrist

The three essential tasks for which vision is paramount can be helped with a variety of low vision aids and devices. Consult a low vision optometrist, such as at , who can enable you to engage in a variety of other tasks on your wishlist.

serves patients in , , , , and throughout ***state.

Helping a reading patient with chronic vision impairment to read once again

Reading again is one of the most frequently reported goals of patients with chronic vision impairment or “low vision.” Many low vision reading devices are available on-line, through vision rehabilitation programs or low vision retail outlets. This article will review basic reading devices that are prescribed by doctors of optometry.

Low vision reading devices can be prescribed for monocular or binocular use. When in doubt as to whether binocular reading is best, it is easiest to demonstrate the device binocularly then cover each eye independently to determine which provides the optimal visual experience for the patient. For ease of understanding, I will list the devices as either (B) binocular (M) monocular (O) optionally can be used either way. The monocular devices are monocular by design, which by its nature eliminates concern over convergence demand.

Lenses are typically ordered in dioptric power and telescopes/microscopes in magnification (X). Magnification (M) for a reading lens is determined by the formula M=P/4, where P is the dioptric power of the lens/add. For example, a +8.00 add has a 2X magnification. Microscopes are measured in magnification rather than dioptric power. The same formula applies so a 3X microscope would be 12 diopters/4. The European labeling system is sometimes different which is why many low vision doctors of optometry use dioptric power instead of magnification to avoid confusion

Prismatic (B)

As the lens power increases in a binocular system, the near focal point gets closer and the amount of convergence required for comfortable vision increases. This is mitigated by prescribing base in prism that is split between the two eyes. The formula for the prism is 2+ the dioptric power of the add. A + 8 reading add would require a net amount of prism of (2+8) =10 prism diopters (5 base-in prism prescribed for each eye). The advantage to a prismatic lens is affordability, binocularity and the ability to place the patients proper lens correction in the prescription. Prismatic glasses are available as a 1/2 eye as well as a full diameter frame.

Microscope lenses (O)

A microscope has a compound lens. When two lenses are put together aberrations are minimized. The doctor of optometry can prescribe higher powered lenses with significantly less distortion. There is a practical limit to the amount of prism that can be used in a microscopic so this limits magnification in a binocular system to about 3X.

When prescribed monocularly there is no physical limit to the carrier unit of the compound lens. Much higher magnification can be obtained such as 4-6X when prescriptions are monocular. At high magnifications, there is a very short working distance making illumination and maintaining the focal distance challenging for many patients. Microscopic lenses have excellent quality optics. They are affordable and very portable. Like prismatic prescriptions, they require accessory lighting and the patient must be instructed to read at a close working distance.

Reading Telescopes (B)

Reading telescopes are task-specific. They can be ordered for focal distances from 10” to 30”. Reading telescopes are angled inward and typically have a fixed focal point for the working distance. In order to have the largest reading area available, telescopic magnification is usually 1.7X or less. Additional magnification can be obtained with a closer working distance (less than16”) using a fixed focal distance or a reading cap mounted on a distance telescope.

Monocular Telescopes (M)

A monocular telescope often works best when the visual acuity is significantly better in one eye. The telescopic component does not need to be angled for reading and a blackout cap or opaque balance lens is used in the contra-lateral eye to avoid interference with the better-seeing eye if the telescope is binocular. Caps of different powers including split caps can be ordered in order to adjust the focal points for several distances. Sometimes even with a monocular telescope the patient will have a more comfortable viewing experience with the contra-lateral eye blacked out.

High Add Bifocal (O)

Adds greater than +3.00 diopters over the distance correction can also be utilized for reading. They are typically used for reading price tags, menu items, cell phones and money as well as continuous text. High add bifocals are usually fit higher than standard bifocals to reduce vertical prism. Patients should also be cautioned about the risk of falls when walking.

Wearable Low Vision Technology (WT)

Doctors of optometry also dispense wearable technology (WT) to make it easier for those with progressive eye diseases to see and have a higher quality of daily life. Medical devices, such as IrisVision, NuEyes, and eSight, are worn as glasses or worn over glasses for individuals with macular degeneration.i Many of these devices have advanced optical character recognition that can assist the patient by scanning text and reading it aloud.

Lastly, if you don’t prescribe low vision devices, the AOA website or goggle searches can be used to identify doctors of optometry who provide low vision rehabilitation devices and services. Low vision doctors of optometry will report back to the patients primary doctor of optometry so that team based care can be sustained for the patient.

Gregory Evans O.D.

member AOA VR committee

https://lowvisionmd.org/3-medical-devices-that-are-helping-the-legally-blind-to-see/

I Have Best Disease. Will I Be Able to Drive?

driving with best diseaseThis question reflects the primary concern of almost every patient with Best vitelliform macular dystrophy. The genetic disorder affects central vision, which is vital to reading road signs, seeing traffic lights, and detecting emergencies while driving.

“The thing to know about this disease is that it does not progress to severe vision loss”, says our IALVS colleague and low vision optometrist, Dr. Robert Stamm. Almost all of his patients, he says, can be helped with bioptic telescope glasses. “They can be very efficient, safe, and effective for drivers and help keep their independence through most of their lives with this disease”.

There Are Good Chances for Driving With Best Disease

In most states, low vision optometrists can help you obtain your driver’s license. If you already have a license, but recently experienced a deterioration in your vision, we may be able to help you stay behind the wheel with the help of innovative low vision glasses, custom made to your prescription. Bioptic telescope lenses enable people to keep driving for most of their lives with Best disease.

If you have been told that you won’t be able to drive because your vision does not meet the legal requirements, you should consult a low vision optometrist near you, such as . Best disease is a rare condition, and not every eye doctor can help guide you on the laws and devices or custom optics that allow you to drive again.

Driving With the Help of Bioptic Telescope Lenses

Bioptic telescope glasses help people with low vision drive and perform many other vital tasks. These low vision glasses combine your regular prescription lenses on the bottom with telescopic prescription lenses on top. The regular lenses are called the “carrier lens”. The second set of lenses are much smaller and provide high magnification, making an object appear larger and closer, so it is easier to see.

Driving while wearing bioptic telescopes is easy; almost anyone can get used to them. Most of the time, you will be looking through the carrier lenses. As you approach a traffic sign you will be able to read it through the telescopic lenses. All you need is to slightly tilt your head down and focus on the sign to read.

Is Driving With Vision Loss Allowed?

Most states permit driving with the assistance of advanced optics, such as bioptic telescopes. However, the regulations vary according to each state and province. A low vision optometrist can assist you in understanding the rules that pertain to you and help you through the process.

You will generally need to reach a certain level of visual acuity with or without glasses to obtain a driver’s license. The minimum vision requirement varies. In some states, bioptic glasses are mandatory from a specific level.

Check out the local driving laws and regulations here: https://www.ialvs.com/dmv-driving-laws/, or simply contact your nearest low vision optometrist at .

What Does a Low Vision Optometrist Have to Do With Driving?

Low vision optometrists are familiar with the visual requirements for obtaining a driver’s license. They also know which low vision aids can be used for driving and have the chance of achieving the desired visual acuity for you. will examine your eyesight and can maximize your remaining vision.

We work with each patient individually to establish the tasks they wish to accomplish. The next step is to assess and determine which devices and optics can help them reach those goals. Many patients are able to continue driving after working with a low vision optometrist.

Are you concerned about driving or carrying out another activity you value? Contact IALVS optometrist, , at today for a consultation. Schedule a low vision exam to get your personal assessment and let us help you optimize your remaining vision.

serves low vision patients from , , , , and throughout ***state.

 

3 Ways Diabetes Can Affect Your Vision and Eyes

Did you know that people with diabetes are 20 times more likely to get eye diseases than those without it? There are three major eye conditions that diabetics are at risk for developing: cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. To prevent these sight-threatening diseases, it’s important to control your blood sugar level and have your eyes checked at least once a year by an eye doctor.

But First, What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that is associated with high blood glucose levels. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps our cells get energy from the sugars we eat. Diabetes develops when the body doesn’t produce or respond to insulin effectively, leaving too much sugar in the blood stream instead. Over time, diabetes can lead to potentially irreversible ocular damage and poor eyesight. However, by taking care of your blood sugar levels and your eyes, you can prevent vision loss.

Annual eye exams are recommended for everyone, but routine screenings are even more important for diabetics. Eye doctors may send diabetic eye health reports to a patient’s primary care physician or internist to adjust medication as needed to prevent complications.

What’s the Link Between Vision and Diabetes?

Blurred vision or fluctuating eyesight clarity is often one of the first noticeable signs that diabetes has begun to affect your eyes. Sometimes, fluid leaking into the eye causes the lens to swell and change shape. This, in turn, makes it difficult for the eyes to focus, resulting in fuzzy vision. Such symptoms can indicate that an eye disease is developing, or may simply be due to imbalanced blood sugar levels which can be rectified by getting your blood sugar back to healthy levels.

If you start to notice blurry vision, make an appointment with ***doctor as soon as possible.

The 3 Ways Diabetes Impacts Vision

Cataracts

While cataracts are extremely common and a part of the natural aging process, those with diabetes tend to develop cataracts earlier in life. Characterized by a clouding or fogging of the lens within the eye, cataracts impede light from entering the eye, causing blurred vision and glares. The best treatment is cataract surgery, which is very safe and effective.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases characterized by optic nerve damage. Since it tends to impact peripheral vision first, glaucoma often goes unnoticed until significant damage has occurred. However, routine glaucoma screenings can detect warning signs; early treatment can prevent disease progression and vision loss.

Although there is no true cure for glaucoma, most glaucoma patients successfully manage it with special eye drops, medication, and on occasion, laser treatment or other surgery. The earlier glaucoma is diagnosed and managed, the better the outcome.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the small blood vessels on your retina (capillaries) become weakened and then balloon (microaneurysm) due to poorly controlled blood sugar levels. The resulting poor blood circulation in the back of the eye causes more abnormal blood vessels to grow, which also bleed or leak fluid, and can lead to scar tissue, retinal detachment and even blindness, over time.

Often there are no symptoms until the advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy, where patients may begin to see spots and missing patches in their vision. Retinopathy can be treated through surgery and eye injections, but the best way to prevent this disease from progressing is to regularly have your eyes screened.

The good news is that diabetic eye disease can often be prevented with early detection, proper management of your diabetes and regular diabetic eye exams. Contact International Academy of Low Vision Specialists in ***location to set up your eye doctor’s appointment today.

When To Contact A Low Vision Doctor: When You Can’t See To Do What You Want To Do

Question mark on blackboardWhen you break your leg, you feel the pain of the fracture and visit a doctor to repair the broken limb. When you hurt your back, you go to a chiropractor to relieve the intense pain. But what happens when you experience vision loss without even noticing it? How do you know when to visit a low vision doctor if you don’t feel any pain?

What Are the Common Symptoms of Vision Loss?

Some signs of vision loss often go unnoticed until the symptoms are far along. Signs of vision loss typically include the following:

  • Blurry vision
  • Cloudy vision
  • Decreased peripheral (side) vision
  • Difficulty seeing clearly at night
  • Frequent headaches
  • Reduced central vision (what you see straight ahead)
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Sensitivity to light

Especially in its earlier stages, certain signs of low vision can easily be attributed to other things. Frequent headaches can be triggered by stress or excessive computer use, light sensitivity can develop from migraines, anxiety, or certain medications, and even blurry vision may be the result of an eye infection, exhaustion, or dehydration.

When Low Vision Becomes Serious

Blonde Woman, sad about low vision diagnosisSo how can you know when your symptoms are serious? One way to know is by paying attention to how changes in vision affect your daily life. If driving at night becomes increasingly difficult, if you notice that headaches are becoming persistent, or if reading or watching TV isn’t enjoyable because the images are unclear, it may be more than just a temporary symptom.

Low vision is a significant visual impairment, which isn’t corrected by simply wearing glasses or contact lenses. It not only impacts your everyday activities, but can cause long-term vision loss – even blindness, if left untreated – so if doing what you love is becoming hard because of poor vision, it’s time to visit a low vision doctor.

How Does A Low Vision Doctor Help?

A low vision doctor focuses on maximizing your remaining vision to help you continue doing what you enjoy. does this with the help of low vision glasses and devices. These tools magnify images, allowing you to see details for sharp, clear vision.

If vision loss makes it hard for you to read your favorite book or a restaurant menu, microscope glasses can help. They enlarge the text so you can enjoy reading once again. Have fun dining out with friends without asking for help reading the menu. It’s all about living an independent life in the best way possible!

Elderly asian man, dark eye-colorWhen it comes to the people closest to you, there’s nothing more painful than being unable to recognize them. Low vision can make it hard to recognize faces, so when your grandchildren come to visit, of course, you want to see their smiling faces in detail. can help you with that by providing you with the right low vision devices.

If you love the freedom and independence that driving offers, vision loss can make that difficult. Your low vision optometrist can fit you for bioptic telescope glasses. These devices magnify objects like street signs and traffic lights. These elements of your environment appear sharper, so you can see them clearly and can continue driving safely, even while driving at night.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any symptoms of vision loss, schedule a visit with . will perform a thorough eye exam and talk to you about how to maximize your remaining vision to help you continue doing the things you want to do, for the best quality of life.

Where Can I Find A Low Vision Doctor?

woman reading with low vision

  • Reading your favorite books is difficult.
  • You squint a lot while watching TV.
  • When friends or family come to visit, you find it hard to clearly see their faces.
  • Driving is hard because the street signs, exit ramps, and other cars seem blurry.

Does this sound familiar? If you’ve experienced any of these situations, then you know how difficult it has become to do the daily tasks you used to enjoy. Whether your vision loss is a result of an injury, genetic condition, or eye disease, getting the right kind of eyecare is essential.

I Have An Eye Doctor. Why Do I Need A Low Vision Doctor?

Low vision care is about more than just glasses or contacts for better eyesight. It’s about a thorough understanding of your lifestyle and what’s important to you, and optimizing your remaining vision so you can get back to doing what you love.

While your regular eye doctor can give you general vision care and prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, a low vision doctor looks at the whole picture. Their goal is to slow down the progression of vision loss and provide you with the right devices and glasses to enhance your remaining vision.

How Do I Find A Low Vision Doctor?

Elderly man having difficulty readingThe International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) has a network of low vision doctors who are located all over the US and Canada. That means there is a low vision eye doctor who treats patients in your area, so you won’t have to go very far to receive top-quality care.

Our doctors undergo special training and have access to the latest research and technologies for low vision care. IALVS doctors are ready to help you live your best life, even with vision loss. Check out the complete doctor directory online.

How Quickly Will My Visual Activity Improve?

Treating your low vision is about giving you the right tools to maximize your vision for the everyday kinds of activities you enjoy. How quickly your visual activity will improve depends on how much loss of visual acuity you have and how quickly you see a low vision eye doctor.

It’s so important to see a low vision doctor as soon as possible. If you find that cooking isn’t as easy as it used to be, watching a movie gives you a headache, or reading a newspaper causes your eyes to feel tired, it’s time to talk to a low vision eye doctor. The sooner you seek treatment, the quicker we can give you the support you need.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any signs of vision loss – even mild ones – schedule an appointment with one of our low vision doctors.

Even if you’ve been told by another doctor that there’s nothing else to do, don’t give up hope. Talk to an IALVS low vision doctor – we can help you stay independent and live your life with the best vision possible.

Why AMD Patients Need 2 Doctors

man with macular degenerationCentral vision is an important element of your overall vision, allowing you to see images and objects as you look straight ahead. This function affects your ability to read books, drive a car, watch TV, or recognize faces of the people you love. For patients with Macular Degeneration, these everyday functions become difficult.

Treatment For Age-Related Macular Degeneration

While there is no cure for AMD, there are some things you can do – together with your doctors – to stop the disease from deteriorating further and prevent total blindness.

For the most effective treatment, patients should visit 2 doctors: one to treat the medical condition itself and one to manage the patient’s vision.

Why 2 Doctors?

Since Age-Related Macular Degeneration is an eye disease, visiting a medical doctor is necessary. Just like going to your family doctor for an illness or injury, proper medical care for your eyes is critical. One doctor treats the medical condition by preventing AMD from worsening, while a Low Vision doctor enhances the patient’s remaining vision.

What Medical Care Involves

Elderly woman using bioptic telescopesMedical care from your eye doctor typically includes monitoring your blood pressure, since high BP can negatively impact the many blood vessels in the eye. Your doctor can also help you quit smoking. This is important because smoking increases the risk of developing AMD between 2-5 times!

Improving your diet is something your doctor can assist with, as well. Foods rich in zinc and antioxidants have been shown to protect against and slow down the progression of AMD. Daily nutritional supplements are known to aid in slowing down the disease. Look for those which include high amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Zinc, and Copper.

For more severe cases of AMD, the doctor may suggest treatments such as laser surgery, injecting light-sensitive dyes, or AMD medication, which is injected directly into the eye. These options can suppress the growth of abnormal blood vessels, which is what causes the wet form of Macular Degeneration to develop.

What Low Vision Care Involves

A Low Vision doctor helps optimize your remaining vision with devices like magnifiers and telescopes. These aids can enlarge images so that you can see them in greater detail. Some aids are placed on special glasses to allow you to drive, read, write, or use a computer with sharper, clearer vision. Others can magnify images in your direct line of vision, allowing you to recognize facial details with clarity.

’s goal is to use your remaining vision to enable you to do the things you enjoy. If AMD makes it difficult for you to read books, drive to shop or run errands, enjoy screen time on your computer or smartphone, and spend time with friends or family, we can help. The staff at can recommend the best visual aids and devices for you.

Symptoms

Medical illustration of eyePatients may show signs of AMD without even knowing it, until more noticeable symptoms develop, such as deteriorating vision.

The most frequent signs of AMD include:

  • Blind spots
  • Blurry or cloudy vision
  • Distorted images
  • Fuzzy-looking vision
  • Shadows or dark spots on an image or object

If you or a loved is showing any of these signs – even in mild form – speak to immediately. The earlier AMD is diagnosed, the sooner it can be managed.

If you have any questions or concerns, speak with our staff at and schedule a consultation. Let us help enhance your central vision and help you find the best way to enjoy a better quality of life.

Top 8 Lighting Tips for People With Low Vision

You’ve got Low Vision and you need some ways of minimizing the effects on your daily activities. One of the best ways to do this is with lighting. Changing the lighting in your home or office can make a significant, positive impact on your functional vision.
Check out ‘s tips for making life with Low Vision more manageable.

Screenshot 2019 11 06 What are the Lighting Options for Low Vision Patients YouTube

Home Is Where the Light Is

Older Woman with Low Vision, Posing with Adult Daughter

Home may be where the heart is, but the lighting is pretty important, too. You may have fixtures that are elegant and classy, fun and colorful, or basic and functional. But no matter how they look on the outside, the bulbs inside are central to how you spend your days and nights.

Using brighter bulbs can give you better vision clarity, so that you can easily maneuver around the things in your home. Using dimmer bulbs may help prevent uncomfortable reactions to strong lights and glare, or simply make it easier to recognize the faces of the people around you.

What’s Your Type?

Thanks to advancements in technology and interior design, there are various types of lighting to choose from without compromising on style, décor, or functionality
Let’s briefly review the 4 most common types of light bulbs:

Incandescent: Although close to natural sunlight, this type of light tends to be concentrated on a few areas, leaving others in a bit of shadow or glare. It is also no longer mass produced since the mid-2000’s when more energy efficient bulbs hit the market.

Halogen: A type of incandescent bulb that is more energy efficient with a longer life. It provides a strong light with great illumination in a room and is best for viewing contrast between objects, images, and surroundings.

Fluorescent: A happy combination of brightness and safety, these bulbs are manufactured in a variety of brightness levels and colors. They are used in both commercial and residential spaces and in the outdoors and indoors, so they offer a lot of versatility.

LEDs: Perhaps the most popular type of lighting due to its many applications, Light-Emitting Diodes (or LEDs, for short) are the most energy efficient and longest-lasting bulbs on the market. They are best used for when you need light concentrated on a certain spot for a specific function or task. They also come in a variety of colors and designs.

In addition to choosing the right light bulbs, it’s important to understand the difference between lux, lumens, wattage, and CRI (Color Rendering Index). That’s because they can have a big impact on the quality of life for people with vision difficulties Lux is a way of measuring how intense a light is, also known as ‘illumination’. For example, a typical living room probably has 50 lux, while a grocery store or shopping mall may have closer to 750 lux.Grandmother with Low Vision, Wearing Eyeglasses Lumen means how much light is emitted from a particular lighting source. The higher the lumen, the brighter the light. Wattage is the amount of energy that a product consumes, similar to a mobile phone battery’s usage.
Color Rendering Index, or CRI, is how a lighting source displays color when compared to natural light. So you may see something in

the sunlight that looks dark green, while in artificial light, it may appear a much brighter shade of green.
Both Lux and CRI are the most important factors for your lighting needs because they affect how you see the world.

Screenshot 2020 04 06 Helping a Light Sensitive Macular Degeneration Patient Gain Comfort Outside and Read Better IALVS

Keep Doing What You Love

With Macular Degeneration and other eye diseases, it’s essential to use different kinds of lighting for the things you do every day, like reading, writing, watching TV, going online, shopping, or cooking. Bright lights may work best for doing housework, while low lights may be the most comfortable for reading or watching TV.

will be happy to recommend the light bulbs that are the most comfortable for doing the things you love.

Timing Is Everything

Day or night can make a huge difference in your Low Vision lighting needs. For example, putting your living room lights on a timer so that the lights go on in the evenings and off before going to sleep makes your life just a little bit easier. Automatic dimmers let you control the brightness of lights, while smart sensors or motion-detectors can turn on or off simply by walking near them.

Maybe It’s The Lamp

When you need light to view something close up, try using a swivel lamp. It lets you move the light exactly where you’d like it to be. Flexible floor lamps give the right amount of illumination without causing eye strain or headaches, especially helpful for Glaucoma patients. Special Low Vision lamps let you control magnification, position, or even the color of the light, from a soft yellowish white to a brighter pure white.

Mimic The Sun

Senior Woman with Low Vision, Wearing Eyeglasses

Natural sunlight can be either beneficial or harmful for Low Vision patients, depending on how mild or severe their case may be. For some, sunlight

can be helpful when reading a book or writing. For those with sensitivity to light, the brightness can cause a glare or pain. In these cases, patients should use lamps that simulate sunlight, without the harmful side effects.

 

Don’t Leave Home Without It

It’s a fast-paced world out there. Take your lighting devices with you! A small pen light can help you read a menu in a dark restaurant, find your keys in a parking garage, or open the door when coming home at night. Even in brighter light, a handheld lighting device can give you a small, focused light wherever and whenever you need it most.

Distance Makes The Light Grow Fonder

Many Low Vision patients have trouble with distance vision. Viewing an image or object from a distance is just as important as the level of brightness in the room. That’s why it’s necessary to use Low Vision lighting tools that are completely adjustable so they aren’t placed at a fixed distance. Being able to move the neck of a desk lamp, for instance, makes it easier to see a book or photo with greater clarity.

Go ahead and try these lighting tips to help your day-to-day functioning with Low Vision. can tell you where to buy these kinds of light bulbs and devices. If you have any questions or concerns, speak with our staff at and we’ll be glad to help.

 

Trouble Seeing Your Grandkids' Faces?
Low Vision Devices Can Help

Are you frustrated that your poor vision is it getting in the way of life?
Is it hard to do simple things, such as seeing your adorable grandchildren's facesolder woman w glasses

You’re not alone. Many people develop vision problems later in life, which can be difficult and overwhelming. Your vision problems may become so severe that you become dependent on those around you to perform simple tasks. For those who are accustomed to an active and independent life, this is very challenging.

However, there’s no need to suffer. Our eye clinic carries low vision devices to help you see again.

What Is Low Vision?

Low vision generally refers to vision impairment that can’t be corrected fully with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, medications, or surgical procedures. Low vision means significant vision loss, but does not include complete blindness.

People that have low vision are often classified into two groups: partially sighted and legally blind. Those that are considered partially sighted have visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200 with the aid of corrective lenses. Those that are considered legally blind have visual acuity that is no better than 20/200 with regular corrective lenses.

What Are The Causes Of Low Vision?

The major culprits of low vision problems are age-related retinal conditions. Cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, cancer of the eye, stroke, eye injury or trauma, albinism, or brain injury can cause low vision.

What Are The Symptoms Of Low Vision?

Possible symptoms include blurred or hazy vision, night blindness, loss of central vision, and loss of peripheral vision.

What To Do Now

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Low vision eye diseases such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, while not completely curable, can be treated by our experts. Our low vision doctors have the latest technologies, low vision aids, and glasses to help you see again. Inexpensive optical and non-optical aids, as well as electronic and digital magnifiers, can be extremely effective in treating low vision.

Act Now

Having trouble seeing your grandkids can be a tough and painful experience. We can help! Contact us today at to see how we can help you regain your independence and start living life to the fullest. Our low vision center offers patients low vision aids and glasses that will improve your vision and give you healthy and happy eyes.

 

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