Low Vision Rehabilitation Program
Low vision rehabilitation can help to make the most of remaining sight. Few people are totally without sight. Most individuals today classified as “blind” actually have remaining sight and, thanks to developments in the field of low vision rehabilitation, can be helped to make good use of it, improving their quality of life.
Visual impairments take many forms and exist in varying degrees. It is important to understand that visual acuity alone is not a good predictor of the degree of problems a person may have. Someone with relatively good acuity (e.g., 20/40) can have difficulty functioning, while someone with worse acuity (e.g., 20/200) might not be having any real problems.
What Causes Low Vision?
Eye diseases or conditions may be responsible for visual impairment. Some of the more common causes include:
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Macular degeneration
- Neurological injuries
Low Vision Devices
A wide variety of rehabilitation options are available to help people with low vision live and/or work more effectively, efficiently, and safely. Most people can be helped with one or more low vision treatment options. Unfortunately, only about 20-25 percent of those who could benefit from these treatment options have been seen by a low vision specialist. The more commonly prescribed devices are:
- Spectacle-mounted magnifiers – A magnifying lens is mounted in spectacles (this type of system is called a microscope) or on a special headband. This allows use of both hands to complete the close-up task, such as reading.
- Hand-held or spectacle-mounted telescopes – These miniature telescopes are useful for seeing longer distances, such as across the room to watch television, and can also be modified for near (reading) tasks.
- Hand-held and stand magnifiers – These can serve as supplements to other specialized systems. They are convenient for short-term reading of things such as price tags, labels, and instrument dials. Both types can be equipped with lights.
- Video magnification – Table-top (closed-circuit television) or head-mounted systems enlarge reading material on a video display. Some systems can be used for distance views tasks. These are portable systems, and those that can be used with a computer or monitor. Image brightness, image size, contrast, and foreground/background color and illumination can be customized.
In addition, there are numerous other products to assist those with a vision impairment, such as large-type books, magazines, and newspapers, books-on-tape, talking wristwatches, self-threading needles, and more.
Low Vision Rehabilitation
If you, or someone you know, suffers from a vision impairment, Call Us about our Low Vision Rehabilitation Program. A Therapist who provides low vision rehabilitative services can provide the help and resources needed to gain back the independence and freedom that once seemed lost. People with low vision can be taught a variety of techniques to perform daily activities with what vision remains.