Gradual or sudden, vision loss can have a devastating impact on quality of life. Services are provided by licensed occupational therapists who are trained low vision therapists. Although we cannot restore sight, we teach patients how to use techniques and devices so they can live as independently as possible.
Who is low vision rehabilitation for?
Individuals with a significant decrease in vision for any reason, but most commonly for conditions such as:
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Macular degeneration
- 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.
Everyone's situation is different. Our therapists develop personal therapy based on need which focuses on daily functional activities such as: self care, home management tasks (meal preparation, bill paying, etc), leisure activities and diving assessments.
- 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
- 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
- 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
What type of recovery/outcome can I expect from low vision rehabilitation?
While we cannot 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.