Functional vision for the normally sighted person is so basic to everyday living that sudden, or even gradual, vision loss can have a devastating impact on quality of life. At Cleveland Clinic, we offer specialized functional evaluations and therapy options for adults diagnosed with vision problems. Although we cannot restore sight, we can teach patients to use a number of techniques and devices so they can live as independently as possible.
Services are provided by licensed occupational therapists who are certified low vision therapists. The therapists provide a comprehensive evaluation and offer therapy options for individuals who not only are coping with vision loss but also have other physical problems that limit their daily activities.
Who is low vision rehabilitation for?
Individuals with a significant decrease in vision for any reason, but most commonly for conditions such as:
- Macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Retinopathy of prematurity
- Vision loss due to a stroke or traumatic brain injury
What does low vision rehabilitation involve?
Low vision therapists assess functional visual ability using life-like conditions, such as various levels of lighting and contrast conditions, indoor and outdoor settings, and while doing everyday tasks.
Our goal is to help patients regain as much independent functioning as possible by using their remaining vision and, when appropriate, by training them to use adaptive techniques or devices.
By understanding the individual patient’s vision deficits and how they affect the ability to perform everyday activities, we can better tailor the therapy. Our focus is on daily functional activities such as:
- Home management tasks, such as meal preparation and bill paying
- Leisure activities
- Driving assessment
Therapy is designed to meet the needs and goals of the individual patient but may include some of the following:
- Lighting and contrast options [use of different types of light and contrasting colors to enhance functional vision]
- Organization and labeling of clothing and other household items
- Adaptation and equipment ideas to increase independence with self-care (matching clothing), home(meal preparation), work (reading, computer) and leisure activities
- Learning “sighted-guide” techniques so that the patient and caregiver can walk confidently together in a store or crowded mall, and up and down steps
Adaptive devices, such as magnifiers, telescopes, microscopes, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), and assistive-computer technology help people read, sew and work on hobbies, shop, walk with greater confidence, communicate and stay connected with others. Once we have a prescription for magnification from a trained eye physician, our low vision therapists can educate and train patients how to use the devices, so they can learn to function as independently as possible.
How long will low vision rehabilitation take?
We do an initial assessment of functional vision, and schedule additional sessions for problem solving and training as needed.
What type of recovery/outcome can I expect from low vision rehabilitation?
While we can not improve vision, our goal is to help the individual with visual limitations to become as independent as possible with the vision they have. We also assist patients and their families to better understand and cope with vision loss.
C Building - W.O.Walker Center
10524 Euclid Ave. - Desk C22
Cleveland, OH 44195
450 Avon Belden Rd.
Avon Lake, OH 44012
3035 Wooster Rd.
Rocky River, OH 44116
5800 Cooper Foster Park Rd.
Lorain, OH 44053