Q: What is low vision?
A: Low vision is a significant visual impairment that can’t be corrected fully with glasses, contact lenses, medication or eye surgery.
Q: What are the most common causes of low vision:
A: There are many diseases that can cause low vision. Some of the most common causes include macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosa. The risk or depth of many of the most common causes of low vision can increase with age, although some people can be born with a visual impairment.
Q: If glasses can’t improve visual impairment, what else can be done?
A: A low vision rehabilitation specialist would be in the best position to address the varying needs of a person with a visual impairment. There is no one solution that works for all people. The most appropriate help may come from use of visual aids such as magnifiers, video magnifiers or telescopes. Some people may benefit from modifications in environment including lighting recommendations, contrast enhancements and organization techniques. Others may benefit from orientation and mobility training in order to minimize the risk of falling while walking independently.
Q: Where would I find a low vision rehabilitation specialist?
A: Fortunately, there are many resources available to those who live in Atlanta. One place to begin would be a visit to a low vision clinic such as the Center for Visually Impaired, Vision Rehabilitation Services or the Low Vision clinic at Emory University.
I have personally been involved in low vision rehabilitation through the duration of my career as an optometrist. Although we do not directly offer these services here in this office, I am available to answer specific questions you may have for yourself or a loved one, and to help guide you through the process of getting the support you desire.