Low vision is a classification of eye care that focuses on patients with decreased vision in which regular glasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery cannot improve. Disease, trauma, infections and congenital defects are all contributing factors to why a person may have low vision. Low vision affects all age ranges, however due to diseases like Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) it is more common in those over the age of 60. This decreased vision makes everyday tasks difficult to complete. However, there are special providers and devices to help patients adapt to their decreased vision and live a life of normalcy.
Glasses can be modified with high-magnification to help with reading, prism can be added to increase the range of a patient’s field of view or a telescope can be mounted to increase distance vision. When disease damages the cornea, specialty soft and hard contact lenses can be made with specific measurements to fit the cornea. Technology has also become of great assistance. There are now small digital cameras that can view what a patient is reading then, with the help of Wi-Fi, show the print on a large computer or TV screen increasing the print without adding distortion (like high-powered magnifiers do).
The most important component toward a successful treatment plan is surrounding yourself with the right team. Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (CVRTs) and Orientation and Mobility Specialist are professionals that help with everyday mobility inside and outside the home. Moreover, they aid in learning how to perform everyday responsibilities. Tasks once intended to simplify life, like using a microwave or the satisfaction of pouring a cup of tea, now have become a challenge, CVRTs will teach a patient how to handle these tasks. A Low Vision Optometrist can prescribe the proper devices/glasses/contacts to utilize your vision as best as possible, therefore supporting patients toward securing visual independence once more.
At Antietam Eye, we can help to diagnose ocular disease, treat it and prescribe the best glasses and/or contacts for each individual. There are in-office devices that a patient can attempt. We are also able to help you contact government run support systems in Franklin County, PA and Washington County, MD. These agencies can help with in home orientation and mobility. Finally, we will continue to work with you to maintain your current level of vision. Drs. Ridenour and Kornilow understand the importance of vision to everyone’s quality of life and are here to help each patient achieve their best vision.