Low vision science is advancing. While a cure is not possible at this time, the scientific research community continues to provide improved means through which a low vision doctor can evaluate and address the problems. In Minnesota, for example, doctors can now utilize a standardized questionnaire to help them understand how effective such approaches as low-vision rehabilitation are. They are also learning to evaluate the quality of life of those impacted by the vision problem. Research continues to look at potential means of improving the life and sight of those who suffer from low vision.
Characteristics of Low Vision
A low vision doctor is able to recognize the characteristics of someone with low vision. According to experts, the following three characteristics are present within all candidates:
Impairment: This is present even following treatment for vision issues and/or correctional procedures
Visual Acuity: Individuals present acuity that that falls light perception and less than 6/18 (0.3 logMAR). Alternatively, the visual field is less than 10 degrees from the point of fixation
Application: The individual can or does use his or her vision for the organization and/or implementation of any undertaking
The present of these features allows the doctor to evaluate and then prepare a course of action.
Low Vision Doctor and Device Options
Anyone with low vision may choose from different options. These include optical and non-optical devices. The purpose is to enhance the person’s residual vision. Essentially, they all utilize some form of magnification. This can be of the text, the relative size or even of the relative distance. All apparatus emphasize improving the functionality of the individual. As a result, a low vision doctor may recommend bioptic glasses, spectacle magnifiers, hand held magnifiers or even computer screen magnifiers. Spectacle magnifiers are the most common recommendation by professional low vision doctors in Minnesota.