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Alexandria: 703-660-9494
Arlington:   703-413-1400
Falls Church:  703-573-1200
Reston: 703-467-9080

Low Vision Services

Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry offers low vision care to help people with vision impairments enhance their sight in order to maintain a complete and independent lifestyle.

What is low vision?

Try the Low Vision Simulator by clicking here.

Low vision is vision that cannot be restored by conventional eyeglasses, contact lenses, surgery, or medication. It can be caused by many different conditions that affect the vision in different ways. Low vision affects people of all ages and backgrounds.

What causes low vision?

There are many different conditions that can cause low vision including:

  1. Macular Degeneration
  2. Diabetic Retinopathy
  3. Glaucoma
  4. Genetic conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa and albinism

What is a low vision exam?

During a low vision exam, we will assess the level of the vision impairment as well as how effectively the remaining vision is currently being used. Low vision devices such as magnifiers, telescopes, prisms, and high power glasses may be prescribed. Special filters or reading lamps may also be recommended. Training and counseling will be provided to enhance vision for safety and independent living. We may also refer you to other specialists, support groups, and state or government programs.

If I have stopped driving because of my vision, will low vision devices restore my ability to drive?

Bioptic lenses MAY allow you to drive again. A bioptic is a special pair of eyeglasses with a telescope attached or mounted into the lens for distance viewing. There are guidelines for driving with a bioptic and we will evaluate your candidacy for this device.

Do all the doctors provide low vision care?

Currently only Dr. Snyder, Dr. Doan, and Dr. Jones provide low vision evaluations. For more information on these doctors, click here.

Do I have to be referred?

We examine both patients who have been referred from their eye doctor as well as self-referring patients. If your eye doctor refers you, we will provide them with a complete report of the evaluation as well as the recommendations and follow-up.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

In addition to your insurance card and personal identification, please bring any eyeglasses you currently have as well as any magnifiers or low vision devices. Please download, print, and complete our low vision new patient questionnaire. If you are unable to do this, please let us know and we will mail you the forms. If you are being referred by another eye doctor, we will need examination findings from your most recent visits.

Additional resources for low vision: