What is Low Vision?
Approximately 14 million Americans, about one in every twenty people, have low vision.
What Causes Low Vision?
Low vision can result from a variety of diseases, disorders, and injuries that affect the eye. Many people with low vision have age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. Age-related macular degeneration accounts for nearly 75 percent of all cases of low vision.
Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida is pleased to offer a low vision rehabilitation program that is the first of its kind in Southwest Florida. The Low Vision Rehabilitation Center is directed by Donald C. Fletcher, M.D., an internationally known expert in the field of rehabilitative medicine for the eye.
Utilizing the latest advances in technology and training, a rehabilitation program is developed for clinically qualified patients to meet their special needs and limitations and to enable them to lead fuller, more independent lives.
Among the areas in which Low Vision Rehabilitation can help are:
- Reading more effectively, possibly by using optical devices to
compensate for vision loss.
- Writing financial transactions, including balancing checkbooks.
- Self-care and homemaking, such as cooking, sewing and hygiene.
- Increasing confidence in your travels around the community.
- Accessing technology, including computer use.
In some cases, a complete medical examination is performed by Donald C. Fletcher, M.D., director of the Low Vision Rehabilitation Center, to assess the extent of damage to the retina and to determine which portions of the retina are still functional. A medical rehabilitation plan then is developed to teach you how to get the best vision possible from your remaining eyesight.
In other cases, your primary eye care physician may develop a rehabilitation program for you, working in concert with the occupational therapists at Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida. Your primary eye care physician will monitor your progress while the occupational therapist provides training on visual skills, adaptive techniques, and community resources. Specialized equipment that can magnify images up to 50 times may help many patients recapture the joy of reading or see photographs of loved ones.
Losing some vision doesn’t have to rob you of life’s simplest pleasures if you learn how to use your remaining eyesight. Low vision devices, special lenses, or electronic systems and training can maximize your ability to read and perform other activities. If you are having difficulty performing common daily activities because of vision loss, your physician can make a referral to the Low Vision Rehabilitation Center of Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida®.
Early detection and treatment is the best way to prevent vision loss. Regular yearly examinations by your eye doctor are extremely important because eye problems can develop at any age.