Vision Rehab Helps People With Low Vision Navigate the World
Doctors call visual impairment that is chronic and can't be corrected by medication, surgery, or prescribing different glasses "low vision," explains John D. Shepherd, MD, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska. The most common causes of low vision in the United States are glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. Treatments may stop further vision loss but won't restore vision that people have already lost. Most eye doctors are focused on providing treatment or medication for the disease, Shepherd says. Low vision specialists address the visual impairments the disease causes. "It's a whole different paradigm and a whole different way to approach the situation."
@aajan Low vision specialists can address three major areas: One is skills training for vision. Someone with macular degeneration, for example, can't see details of what's in front of them, but they still have vision. Skills training can help these individuals understand how to stop relying on the 'bad' areas of the eye and bring the better areas onto what they want to see. Vision specialists also offer guidance about changing your environment, such as taking advantage of lighting and contrast to make it easier to perform tasks. Low vision specialists also can recommend a wide array of devices that can enhance someone's vision and enable them to accomplish a given activity better.