WHAT IS LOW VISION?
Vision less than normal, not corrected by medical treatment or glasses, interfering with normal activities such as reading and driving.
CAUSES OF LOW VISION AND BLINDNESS:
Macular degeneration *(see link below for self-diagnosis)
*link for self-diagnosis of AMD, supplied by the Macular Degeneration Foundation. Click link to see video.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP?
From space-age technology to simple adaptive changes in the home, many things can be done to improve the function and independence of those
with low vision or blindness. At our offices we have a full selection of non-optical, optical and electronic devices, both high and low tech.
STANDARD EYE CARE:
Our clinics are not intended to provide routine eye care. We function only as a rehabilitative service.
WHO WILL YOU SEE?
You will be seen first by one of our doctors. A thorough evaluation of your vision will be performed. This will include functional tests not ordinarily done by your Eye Doctor. This evaluation will show what training, devices and instruction will help. The doctor may have you return to see the Occupational Therapist(OT). The OT will provide training in the changes and adaptations needed for comfortable living with low vision or blindness. Instruction in the many ways to achieve independence and the use of devices will be taught by the OT. You may be referred to other teachers, agencies, or resources if they can help in any way.
Anatomy of the Eye
This is a very thin, clear structure, allowing light to get into the eye and focusing it through the pupil onto the lens. In some people it is irregular or cone-shaped , notfocusing light correctly. Glasses or surgery such as LASIX may be required to correct this.
The lens of the eye is just behind the pupil. It collects light and focuses it on the macular part of the retina. It is normally a clear crystalline structure. In cataract formation, it begins to get cloudy and does not let the light through.
The retina, which senses light rays, is a thin lining on the back of the eye. The macula, which is affected in macular degeneration, is a very small spot in the center of the retina. It is here that the ability to read, identify small and distant objects and other tasks requiring good vision is located.
Diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration are the most common conditions affecting the retina and macula.
The Optic Nerve:
The optic nerve transmits the image from the retina to the brain where the image is processed. If the nerve is not normal or is damaged, the image may be distorted, incomplete or even absent. This is usually called optic neuritis or neuropathy, and may be from a variety of conditions. Glaucoma , by raising the pressure inside the eye, affects the small nerve fibers in the eye. Multiple sclerosis affects the nerve after it leaves the eye, and stroke may stop the processing of the image by the brain.