What is a Low Vision Optometrist

Low vision eye doctors are experts in conducting low vision examinations and in formulating plans to maximize remaining vision. By prescribing interventions such as the use of special visual aids, assistive devices, and vision rehabilitation therapy, patients can resume many of their activities and continue to enjoy a high quality of life. In addition to optometric knowledge, they have a unique understanding of lenses, specialty glasses, and other optical tools used for visual impairments. Finally, they are well equipped to address the emotional challenges patients face from visual impairment


What is a Low Vision Optometrist in Olympia

Low vision patients are sometimes told by eye doctors that there is nothing that can be done to help them. With proper treatment many patients are able to partake in activities that they never thought they would be capable of doing again. With proper treatment, they are able to enjoy a higher quality of life.

Causes of Low Vision

The challenge with this condition is that patients are unable to recover their lost eyesight, and the standard interventions don’t work for them. Treatment utilizes a host of aids and devices to maximize remaining eyesight, as well as comprehensive rehabilitation therapy which instructs the person in strategies for using their eyesight most effectively. 

There are many types of eye disease and medical conditions that cause this condition. They include the following:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: These are diabetic-induced eye disorders that affect the retina and eyesight.
  • Glaucoma: This condition (common with diabetes) occurs from fluid build-up which damages the eyes. Left undetected or untreated, it can lead to blindness. Early detection and intervention are critical to prevent it from progressing.
  • Cataracts: A condition involving cloudiness of the lens. Can be corrected surgically.
  • Retinitis pigmentosa: A series of genetic eye disorders affecting eyesight
  • Age-related macular degeneration: This ocular condition involves damage to the retina's macula. Macular degeneration is more common among the elderly.
  • Injury to the optic nerve: A traumatic injury can sometimes lead to visual deficiency.
American Family Vision Clinic

What Can A Low Vision Eye Doctor Do for Me?

A low vision optometrist is trained to perform an eye evaluation to detect the condition, and to diagnose and treat it with various aids and interventions, which enable the person to utilize their remaining eyesight most effectively. This includes the use of rehabilitation therapy to learn how to maximize remaining eyesight

  • Prismatic glasses: These are sometimes referred to as high-powered reading glasses. 
  • Microscopic glasses: These are good for up-close work or reading.
  • Bioptic telescopes: Worn like spectacles, they improve the ability to see at a distance, and in certain U.S. states people are able to continue to legally drive a vehicle.
  • Magnifiers: These range from standard hand-held versions to more powerful ones with fixed stands.

CCTV: An electronic magnification device that projects images onto a monitor for enhanced magnification levels.

Consulting A Low Vision Optometrist

Low vision optometrists have specialized knowledge and experience in conducting eye examinations, treating people with this condition, and in managing concerns and uncertainties about their condition. Their expertise in aids and other interventions  such as specialty glasses, magnifiers, telescopic devices, and rehabilitation therapy is crucial for helping patients learn to use their remaining eyesight most effectively. 

A primary function of a low vision optometrist is to help people resume a normal life where they can perform everyday tasks.  If you or someone you know has the condition, contact our low vision optometrist to find out more.

Consulting A Low Vision Optometrist
Dr. Zurcher cartoon

What is a Low Vision Optometrist

Low vision eye doctors are experts in conducting low vision examinations and in formulating plans to maximize remaining vision. Patients with low vision visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of low vision services for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.


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.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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