Low vision refers to a visual impairment that can’t be corrected with conventional eyeglasses or contact lenses. It is characterized by vision loss that interferes with daily living activities like reading and cooking. It is commonly associated with several eye-related conditions like retinal detachment, macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma.
Eye care specialists like us help patients with low vision see better through assistive devices as part of their glaucoma or cataracts treatment. Aside from improved lighting, increased contrast and reduced glare, we also recommend the use of the following:
Correctly Refracted Glasses
Children diagnosed with low vision can benefit from glasses with lower or more specialized prescriptions than those with still-developing vision. They first undergo proper cycloplegic refraction, which is a procedure used to determine complete refractive error by relaxing the ciliary body or the eyes’ focusing muscles. Their accommodation or the ability to see up close is also measured.
A pair of magnifying spectacles is similar to the regular pair of glasses, except the lenses have specific magnification to help make objects look two to three times bigger. People with low vision can use it to perform tasks up close like reading and threading the needle.
An alternative to magnifying spectacles, it is a hands-free apparatus that rests above the object being observed. An eye doctor can recommend this type of assistive device to help low vision patients with tremors or arthritis.
Non-Optical Assistive Devices
Other assistive devices for people with low vision include audiobooks that read aloud texts from novels and devices with audible announcements to inform the user of their blood pressure or blood glucose. Some everyday items like telephones, thermostats, watches and remote controls come with large-sized numbers and high-contrast colors.
If you need low vision therapy, schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry. Get in touch with us as well to learn more about sports vision training and concussion therapy. We serve residents all over Virginia, including Falls Church and the surrounding areas. Call us at (703) 573-1200, or fill out our contact form to request a free consultation.