Low Vision screening programs supported by Vision-Aid offer low vision assessments and help patients who have significant loss of vision to utilize their residual eyesight to the fullest possible extent with the use of optical and electronic magnification devices, assistive devices and technology and special training. The process also involves counselling of low vision patients so as to instil hope and confidence in them and motivating them to live their lives with independence and dignity.
Eye conditions causing low vision are usually beyond all possible treatment options like medications, surgeries or eye glasses. Some eye conditions are due to genetic causes. Patients are usually referred through ophthalmologists to the low vision care after the best possible treatment. Low Vision Assessment is a comprehensive process and can take up to three hours per patient. The optometrist who performs this requires specialized training in Low Vision Care.
During the Low Vision Assessment, the optometrist will gain an understanding of not only the patient’s vision condition but also the patient’s needs, in terms of job requirements, day to day activities, mobility nee ds and such.
Then the patient is prescribed an appropriate combination of low vision aids or Assistive technology to help them perform their tasks as independently and confidently as possible. The solutions will vary widely depending on the nature of the patient’s eye condition and the tasks they would need to perform but almost all solutions will use either optical or electronic magnification of varying types in combination with training in the use of such devices.
In the case of a child, for example school age, the solution may be spectacle mounted telescope which can help the child to see the black board better or a monocular telescope for viewing bus numbers. Sometimes simple techniques like effective use improved lighting or thick tipped felt pens for writing may make a big difference in improving a patient’s efficiency. For a person pursuing college, there is need for extended near activities like reading, to access computers, etc.
Figure: A school child trying a monocular telescope
Figure: Portable video magnifiers, connected to TV monitor
In the case of a senior citizen, who has lost vision due to Age related macular degeneration the prescription may be an electronic CCTV magnifier which the patient can connect to a TV at home and use that to read magnified images of print (newspaper or book) on a TV set at home.
For few patients with difficulty with sunlight or even the lighting in room environment, the role of filters/ tints helps them.
Figure: Patient with Foveal Hypoplasia with sensitivity to sunlight being evaluated for tinted spectacles.
The child is now able to play outdoors with tinted spectacles
Visit our success stories page to see how our Vision Enhancement services are helping people who are visually impaired.
A few pictures that demonstrate the success of this program:
Figure: Portable electronic magnifier and a college student reading with the magnifier
Figure: College students trying Spectacle Magnifiers.