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Modern Low Vision Rehabilitation Clinic

MODERN LOW VISION REHABILITATION

Low vision rehabilitation is a newly emerging subspecialty drawing from the traditional fields of ophthalmology, optometry, occupational therapy, and sociology, with an ever-increasing impact on our customary concepts of research, education, and services for the visually impaired patient.

Visual rehabilitation is utilizing the remaining vision to the fullest extent. We can use low vision aids which are devices that help people with low vision function by maximizing remaining eyesight. This often involves the use of magnifiers (handheld, mounted, or stand-alone), telescopes, and other tools to make the images of objects larger and hence more visible. Some visual aids work by reducing glare and enhancing contrast, which makes it easier to see. Other low vision aids act as guides to help the person focus on non-visual cues, such as sound or feel. Finding the right visual aid is a matter of consulting with a low vision professional.

 An accurate assessment of residual visual functions includes 

  • Assessment of visual acuity
  • Contrast sensitivity
  • Binocularity
  • Refractive errors
  • Perimetry
  • Oculomotor functions
  • Cortical visual integration
  • Light characteristics affecting visual functions

Functional vision assessment in low vision rehabilitation measures how well one uses residual visual functions to perform routine tasks, using different items under various conditions, throughout the day.

Of the many functional vision skills known, reading skills are an obligatory item for all low vision rehabilitation assessments.

Results of the assessment guide rehabilitation professionals in developing rehabilitation plans for the individual and recommending appropriate low vision devices. The outcome of assessing residual visual functions is the detection of visual functions that can be improved with the use of optical devices.

Methods for prescribing devices such as

  • Image relocation with prisms to a preferred retinal locus,
  • Field displacement to primary gaze position,
  • Field expansion,
  • Manipulation of light is practiced today in addition to, or instead of, magnification.

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