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Low Vision Therapy

Low vision is a general term that refers to a partial loss of vision that cannot be adequately corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, medications or surgery. Common causes of low vision include macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, inherited retinal degenerative diseases, glaucoma and optic nerve atrophy. Patients with these diseases have trouble doing many every day things, including work and leisurely activities.

Low vision therapy typically includes an evaluation of the patient’s visual abilities, prescription of low vision devices and training in their use. The goal is to maximize the use of the patient’s available vision for reading, writing, hobbies and work-related tasks such as working at a computer. Low vision can be determined by using a Feinbloom low vision chart with numerals that range in size of Snellen 700 to 10 when standing at distances around 5ft away.

The largest letter on the typical Snellen Eye Chart (or the “big E chart”) is often 20/200. Any person’s vision that is lower then that is considered “legally blind” when USING corrective lenses. Some people with myopia (which is when close objects are clear but far objects are not) may not be able to read the 20/200 line but CAN read the 20/20 or 20/15 lines with glasses.

There are many amazing companies that work with the patients to improve their quality of life. One local organization is the Olmsted Center of Sight. Check out their website or give them a call at (716)882-1025.