Living With Low Vision Loss (Challenges, Tips)

The following article addresses the many challenges low vision patients face in living with this condition with suggestions for improving quality of life and the ability to perform tasks.

Living With Low Vision Loss (Challenges, Tips) in Olympia

Coping Options For Low Vision

People with low vision face many challenges as they learn to live with their condition. The difficulty of coping with diminished vision can be emotionally devastating for independent people, and it is critical that people with such a diagnosis, as well as the individual’s support system, learn to take advantage of all available resources.

An effective intervention plan for maximizing the remaining vision of low vision patients and improving their overall quality of life addresses all of the challenges of living with this condition.

American Family Vision Clinic

Coping Options For Low Vision

Critical factors to consider include the following:

  • Emotional Well-being: Perhaps the greatest challenges are the emotional ones, as people learn to cope with diminished vision and a loss of independence. It is critical that people with this diagnosis, along with their support system, learn to identify the signs of depression, and to seek the appropriate mental health counseling to attend to these emotional challenges. A strong emotional support system of friends, family, and professionals is vital and invaluable for anyone living with this condition.
  • Americans With Disabilities Act: People with low vision should educate themselves on their civil rights as articulated in this law, which prohibits discrimination and prejudice against american citizens with disabilities. 
  • Low vision Occupational Therapy: An occupational therapist certified in low vision provides therapy that  enables the patient to learn how to adapt to life after vision loss. 
  • Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation: This type of therapy takes place at our office to improve the neurological processing of visual information in the specific areas the patient is struggling with.This can include balance, color contrast, and expanding their field of vision among other skills. 

Additional Resources: There are many advocacy groups, organizations, and online forums providing educational material, vision services, and other resources. People with low vision should take advantage of the many useful outlets for gaining information about low vision.

Specific Aids and Devices

  • Vision Aids: Prescription vision aids such as optical and non-optical devices, specialty glasses, magnifiers, video enlargement systems, and telescopes are all effective for improving low vision deficits.
  • Lighting Options: Lighting is essential for enabling people with low vision to maximize their remaining vision. There are many types of lighting for people with visual impairment. The challenge is to find lighting that provides sufficient illumination without causing eye strain. It is recommended to use full spectrum lighting or lights with 90+ CRI, with LED lights offering the highest brightness and the most options.
  • Audio Books: Audio books and large-print books enable book lovers to continue to enjoy their love of reading and literature. 
  • Assistive and Adaptive Technology Products and Software: These include programs that read the computer screen, speech to text and text to speech software, and magnifying programs.
  • Digital Device Settings: Sensible use of settings for digital devices m
Specific Aids and Devices

Common Questions

No. Low vision treatment is a specialty field. A low vision optometrist has a degree in optometry, as well as extensive training and clinical knowledge in all aspects of low vision. This includes the use of special lenses, high and low tech visual aids, and vision rehabilitation. An ophthalmologist is a medically trained doctor with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of the eye, including the ability to perform surgery. While some ophthalmologists specialize in specific fields of low vision, their focus is on the medical treatment, while the low vision optometrist has more expertise in the latest tools and methods of maximizing remaining vision aspect of the field.
A low vision optometrist will help find the best options to maximize your remaining vision. It is not always possible to resume everything that you were able to do, even if you have all the devices. Much of it depends on your particular condition and the severity of vision loss. Furthermore most devices are specific to certain needs, so a low vision optometrist will help you to identify what activities are most important to the patient and the kinds of devices that will help the patient achieve independence for those activities.
Common signs include difficulty or loss of vision with distance, peripheral and central vision, light and glare sensitivity, night-blindness, blurred vision, and difficulties with tasks that require precise vision for close-up work.
Low vision often occurs secondary to degenerative eye diseases that lead to irreversible vision loss affecting visual acuity and field of vision. These disorders include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt, ocular albinism, strokes, and other conditions. In some instances low vision may be congenital (from birth) or secondary to a traumatic or acute brain damage.One of the most common causes is age-related macular degeneration.
Dr. Zurcher cartoon

Living A Fulfilling Life With Low Vision

Many low vision patients are told that there is nothing they can do to improve their vision. This is untrue. Many low vision patients are benefitting from the use of specialized visual aids and rehabilitation therapy, under the guidance of low vision optometrists. Contact us today to find out more about the many ways low vision patients are enjoying life with the ability to engage in normal daily activities.

Testimonials


  • Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.


    Anna P.

  • I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.


    June S.

  • Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.


    Christine R.

  • Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.


    Lars Wulff

  • Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.


    Justin E.

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