Low Vision Rehabilitation Involves More Than Just An Eye Doctor

An occupational therapistDo you find it difficult to read a magazine, set a timer, follow a recipe or manage glare? You may suffer from low vision and may not even realize it.

Low vision is the loss of a certain amount of eyesight that makes it hard or impossible to perform everyday tasks. Although low vision cannot always be improved by corrective lenses or surgery, there are resources available that can help maximize vision and maintain independence.

What is Low Vision Rehabilitation?

If you have recently been diagnosed with low vision, it is important to get support right away. Vision rehabilitation can help you maintain your vision and functional ability, as well as improve your quality of life. There are different types of professionals who are trained to work with patients who have low vision. Your ophthalmologist can connect you with the programs and specialists in your area so that you can build a team to provide support.

A Low Vision Rehabilitation Services Team May Include:

  • Ophthalmologist
  • Low vision specialist
  • Low vision occupational therapist
  • Rehabilitation teacher
  • Orientation and mobility specialist
  • Social worker
  • Counselor

Questions to Ask When You Call Vision Rehabilitation Professionals

You may feel overwhelmed as you begin seeking rehabilitation services in your area, but here are some questions to get you started:

  1. Are your services covered under my health care plan or Medicare?
  2. Do you provide a home assessment?
  3. Do I need a prescription to obtain low vision aids and devices?
  4. Are low vision devices available for loan or for purchase?
  5. What types of rehabilitation training do you provide (glare control, writing, reading, shopping)?
  6. Do you provide any mobility or transportation services?
  7. Are there support groups available?

Your vision rehabilitation team can provide you with the support, resources and encouragement you need to keep your independence. Even after your team is in place, you may still need to rely on family and friends for some tasks and transportation, so don’t forget to ask your loved ones for help. It can be a nice opportunity to catch up and spend some time together (Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology).

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