Learn How We Can Help You See Again
Low vision describes a visual impairment that decreases your vision, either with a reduced field of view or with low visual acuity. This type of vision loss cannot be corrected fully with prescription eyewear, medication, or surgery. And because low vision implies that you still have some remaining sight – it is not the same as blindness.
However, even though people with low vision maintain some level of sight, this condition can drastically lower independence and quality of life. Normal daily tasks, such as reading, writing, driving, and watching TV, may become difficult. For someone who is used to being independent, low vision can therefore be very frustrating and spiral into depression. Fortunately, there are a number of low vision devices, technologies, and techniques that can help people with low vision to see again. Our low vision doctors are knowledgeable about many types of low vision assistance, and we strive to maximize vision for every patient. We want you or your loved one to see and enjoy life to its fullest!
What causes low vision?
The primary causes of low vision are eye diseases, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa. Other conditions that can lead to low vision are brain injury, eye injury, and genetics.
What is a low vision eye exam?
Our eye doctor will perform a specialized low vision eye exam to assess the quantity and type of remaining vision. We will use advanced diagnostics, such as OCT scans and Visual Field testing, to ensure highly accurate results. If you have an ocular disease, we will keep close watch on it to check for any changes. Sometimes a change in your ocular condition indicates the need for a different treatment to prevent further vision loss.
Based on the results of your low vision eye exam, we will recommend the most helpful low vision aids and strategies to enhance quality of life.
What are low vision aids?
Low vision devices are tools that can be used to make the most of your sight and improve daily function. Typically, they are categorized as either electronic, optical, or non-optical. Each type targets a different visual task or circumstances. Therefore, our low vision doctor may recommend a variety of devices for each patient.
Some examples of low vision aids include:
- Handheld magnifiers
- Spectacle-mounted magnifiers, can be used with one or two eyes
- Stand magnifiers, particularly useful if you are not able to hold your hands steady
- Bioptic telescopes – in a range of lens powers
- Devices to reduce glare and enhance visual contrast
- Technologies that use non-visual cues (sound and feel) to assist with identification
- Computer programs and glasses
Is it possible to drive with low vision?
Low vision driving is associated with many risks. For example, you may not be able to see road signs and traffic lights clearly. However, losing the ability to drive can be devastating, which is why we will strive to fit you with a low vision driving aid to help keep you on the road – driving safely. A selection of bioptics and telescopic glasses are available to magnify everything you need to see while behind the wheel. Depending upon your individual eye condition, low vision driving aids may be able to sharpen your sight to 20/40 vision!
See For Yourself How Our Low Vision Doctor Can Help!
Many people who have suffered vision loss are skeptical about the effects of low vision devices. However, a recent study published in Acta Ophthalmologica explored the impact of low vision aids on a group of seniors (average age 82 years) with vision loss. The study showed that while 16% of these people could still read without any aids, this number soared to 94% once they were fit with a suitable low vision device. In addition, their reading speed rose from 20 words per minute to 72 words per minute!
Instead of sitting around and wondering whether or not low vision assistance can really improve your quality of life, we invite you to book a low vision eye exam with our Rancho Mirage eye doctor. We want you to see all the benefits with your own eyes!