Why Can’t I Just Get Stronger Glasses?
Many patients with reading difficulties due to eye disease ask this question. The stronger the reading glasses, the closer the reading must be held. Most patients with impaired vision require reading glasses so strong that reading material needs to be held uncomfortably close. Low vision devices use magnification techniques not available in glasses to allow a person to read at a more normal distance.
“Many of my new patients with vision impairment have been told there is nothing that can be done to help them,” says Dr. John Stuart, Jr. of the Surrey Low Vision Centre. “We are here to help the patient maximize the use of remaining vision and achieve functional vision goals. The focus at the Surrey Low Vision Centre is to provide each patient with an individualized program of care, including the appropriate low vision devices and therapy as needed. This leads the pa-tient to experience a more personally satisfying and productive life.”
Low vision is a term that is used to describe impaired vision that cannot be corrected with glass-es or contact lenses. Low vision rehabilitation refers to the process of helping patients with vi-sion impairment learn to maximize the use of their remaining, or residual vision. This enables the patient to lead as independent and safe a lifestyle as possible. The Surrey Low Vision Centre team is specifically trained and experienced in providing low vision diagnosis and rehabilitation.
For people who have reduced vision due to eye disease, there is new hope for increasing comfort in the performance of daily visual tasks and activities. Technology has expanded the availability of choices and quality of low vision aids. The Surrey Low Vision Centre provides patients with a full range of low vision products and services, and low vision assessments are covered by the BC Medical Services Plan.
Over one million people in North America are at risk of becoming legally blind. As a large per-centage of the population ages, more seniors are being diagnosed with life-altering eye diseases and low vision. The four diseases that are most commonly responsible for contributing to re-duced visual independence are Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, and Retinitis Pigmentosa. Since eye disease symptoms are not always noticed, it is crucial to have regular eye health examinations. The benefits of early diagnosis by an eye care professional have a huge impact on managing the disease later. Armed with current information, optimal eye healthcare, and early intervention, aging eyes can now fight a dim future.