This post was written by Dr. Jennifer Salvo, a low vision optometrist. She sees patients for MABVI in Holyoke and Springfield and also provides low vision care in Wellesley Wayland, and Hyannis through her private practice. For more information about Dr. Salvo and her low vision practice, visit www.metrolowvision.com or call her at 508-740-0706 to schedule an appointment.
Many people give up at this point and become increasingly isolated and depressed due to their vision loss. However, there is help available, and your next step should be a low vision exam. A low vision exam is far different than the one you receive when you visit your retina doctor or glaucoma specialist. It is a functional assessment–meaning that the low vision doctor will assess your ability to perform daily tasks, hobbies and activities, and will also address safety concerns.
After performing various vision and reading tests, the low vision doctor will evaluate and prescribe appropriate devices and make recommendations for improving your functioning. The doctor may recommend LED magnifiers, high-powered reading glasses, telescopes, television glasses, or video magnifiers. He or she may also recommend in-home training with an occupational therapist who specializes in working with visually impaired individuals.
Although you may receive a new glasses prescription at the low vision exam, glasses will not restore vision that is lost due to retinal damage or eye disease. However, the low vision doctor can help you maximize the use of your remaining vision. The low vision exam is the starting point for receiving the services and devices to help you regain independence and maintain activities you enjoy.
Click here to hear Boston-area low vision optometrist Richard Jamara describe how he helps individuals living with vision loss.