Low Vision Rehabilitation
Low Vision Rehabilitation Service
Low Vision Rehabilitation is provided by our low vision therapist. A low vision therapist can help people safely and independently complete day-to-day activities that are important to them. The therapist will evaluate and assess the patient’s ability to perform daily activities that may have been impacted by visual impairment.
Every patient should be seen by their eye care professional -- either an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. Ask your doctor if they think you could benefit from a functional low vision assessment. The low vision evaluation is the entry point into low vision rehabilitation.
The Next Step: Low Vision Therapy
The following are some areas that may be addressed by the low vision therapist:
Learning to use remaining vision more efficiently
The therapist may provide training on visual efficiency skills such as scanning, tracking, locating and eccentric viewing techniques. For example, someone with central vision loss, which is generally the case with macular degeneration, may benefit from training in eccentric viewing – a technique that will enhance a patient’s use of peripheral or side vision.
Increasing safety and visibility in the home
The therapist may recommend different or more adequate lighting, such as task lighting, overhead lighting or ambient lighting. Lighting recommendations depend highly upon the specific activity or task at hand.
Training in the use of optical and non-optical aids
Magnifiers, telescopes, microscopes and electronic magnification devices are prescribed to allow patients to meet visual goals. Patients are more efficient in the use of these devices when they are trained appropriately on the correct magnification. Too much or too little magnification can result in poor performance. The use of non-optical aids can also enhance the quality of a patient’s day to day living. The use of large print, contrast and low vision adaptive products can allow for task completion, increasing one’s independence and quality of life.
Training in activities of daily living
The therapist may provide training on identifying and managing medications, managing finances and paying bills, and participating in leisure activities and enjoying hobbies.
Comprehensive and holistic approach to treatment
Vision cannot be replaced, but patients can resume independent and productive lives despite vision impairment. Rehabilitation is a highly individualized treatment plan dependent on each consumer’s needs. Patients may utilize some or all of the services available. It is important for the therapist and patient to work together on determining the best approach for the most successful outcome. Additional considerations addressing the needs of depression, frustration and anxiety should also be a part of a comprehensive and holistic rehab plan. Services are available for patients to access counseling and how to use coping strategies more effectively.