Learning to cope and lead a normal life with low vision is a challenging and demanding trial for Canadians all across the country. When your vision is reduced to a very narrow field, or if you see with a blurriness which cannot be corrected by any lenses or surgery, things change.
However, low vision does not mean blindness. At Woodstock Optical, we can work with you to adapt and make lifestyle changes which maximise whatever sight you have left. With our help, you may be able to watch TV comfortably once again, or accomplish any number of other day-to-day activities many of us take for granted.
Low vision tends to affect those at a later stage in life – quite often over 65 – and is usually caused by an underlying condition. Age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma can all cause permanent visual impairment, so anyone suffering from one of these diseases may be left with low vision.
An unexpected trauma, stroke or illnesses like diabetes can all also lead to low vision, so it could happen at any age. The most important thing to remember is that vision loss is very rarely curable. However, if you have an annual eye exam, any developing illnesses can be spotted months, perhaps years, before any vision loss would normally occur and then we can help you effectively manage the disease and prevent future impairment.
By definition, there is no way to “fix” low vision. However, we can focus our efforts on getting the maximum amount of use from your remaining eyesight.
There are often simple techniques or devices which can be employed to substantially improve low vision in certain situations. Following an exam with the independent optometrist at Woodstock Optical (Dr. Kassam), we can make recommendations for devices which alter the brightness/colours of your TV (so you can see it better), magnification devices for reading text (such as web pages or e-books) and more.
Certain devices can work better with one individual over another, but your optometrist will be able to talk you through all of the options so you can make informed decisions.
Since serious eye diseases can leave patients with permanent low vision, it’s imperative that we work to limit any progression of those diseases. We can take steps to manage glaucoma or AMD, for example, and try to keep the vision loss from becoming more pronounced. The more we succeed in this area, the higher quality of living you’ll be able to achieve.