A referral from an ophthalmologist is required for a low vision evaluation. If you would like to schedule an appointment for an eye exam by an ophthalmologist, please call 216.444.2020 or 800.223.2273, ext.4-2020.
What is low vision?
A person is said to have low vision if their sight cannot be corrected by eyeglasses, contact lenses, medical or surgical treatment. People with low vision have useful vision that can often be improved with visual rehabilitation and optical devices.
How common is low vision?
Fourteen million Americans (about one out of every 20 people) have low vision. About 135 million people around the world have low vision. One in six adults (13.5 million people) 45 years of age and older has some form of visual impairment. For adults, 75 years of age or older, the number is even more dramatic, one in four.
What services are available for patients with low vision?
A complete eye examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist is essential. Once the cause of your low vision is determined, your ophthalmologist or optometrist may recommend a low vision evaluation.
What is a low vision evaluation?
A low vision examination is an optical and functional evaluation to enhance vision with the goal of participating in desired activities. Prescription of optical devices, such as high-powered spectacles and magnifiers, may be recommended to optimize remaining vision. The Low Vision Department will determine the most appropriate device for you based on individualized goals, such as reading, watching television, enjoying hobbies or recreational activities. The low vision evaluation is coordinated with medical, educational and rehabilitative services to enable the individual to maximize sight.
How many optical devices are available?
There are hundreds of optical devices. Each optical device is used for a particular task and a certain work distance. Multiple devices may be prescribed to improve vision for different tasks. Here are some of the available devices:
- High-powered magnifying spectacles are stronger than ordinary glasses. They are designed for close work and leave both hands free to hold reading material.
- Hand magnifiers are familiar to most people. Magnifiers come in different strengths and sizes depending on their function.
- Stand magnifiers rest on the reading material. Some have a self-contained light source.
- Telescopes can be used for distance and near magnification. They may be hand-held for viewing distant objects, or mounted in spectacles.
- Closed-circuit television produces an enlarged image on a screen. With adjustable magnification and contrast, a closed-circuit television can magnify an image more than most hand magnifiers.