Shock, Denial, Anxiety & Anger…are some common feelings seen in patients with Low Vision.
Let us understand what is Low Vision? – “Low Vision is when a person has visual acuity less than 6/18 to light perception, or a visual field less than 10 degrees from the point of fixation even after surgical/medical treatment or standard refractive correction, but who uses, or is potentially able to use, vision for the planning or execution of a task”.
Low vision care is a multidisciplinary approach to improve the visual function of the patient.Currently, India has around 12 million blind people which make home to one-third of the world’s blind population. School surveys in India for the blind have shown that 50% of children registered in such schools have low vision and are not blind.
Reports indicate that only 3% of all blind and visually impaired children in India have access to basic low vision care. Unfortunately, till date, this has not been looked at carefully, may be due to lack of knowledge among eye care practitioners.
The goal is to provide individuals with skills and confidence so that they can function as independently as possible and to improve their quality of life. A good low vision practice is beyond just prescribing optical devices, an optometrist must provide training in the use of optical aids, recommend non-optical devices, occupational and educational help, assistance with the tasks of daily living by modifying the surroundings and referring the patient for orientation and mobility training along with counseling for adjusting to loss of vision.
Many private practitioners shy away from offering low vision services & refer patients to established low vision clinics and hope their needs are met there. Sometimes a “low vision clinic” is simply an office that will order optical aids.
We provide our patients with adequate services which help them with their functional vision which, in turn, would build confidence in them so that they can survive happily in society. Low vision care early in life could potentially minimize long-term permanent visual disability and reduce the number of blind years. In our upcoming blogs, we will discuss some low vision cases, stay tuned.