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How to Know If You’re at Risk for Glaucoma

happy senior outside 640×350Glaucoma is a dangerous eye condition that can cause blindness. The condition occurs when fluids in the eye put pressure on the optic nerve. It is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, with more than 3 million cases in North America alone.

By testing your vision, dilating your pupils, examining your eyes, and testing your eye pressure, Dr. Ross Cusic can detect whether you have glaucoma. Additional tests can determine whether your peripheral vision has declined.

Because glaucoma’s early stages affect the peripheral nerves in your retina, your side vision is damaged before your central vision. Furthermore, as this nerve damage is almost always pain-free, often this condition is discovered only after causing irreversible vision loss. While glaucoma’s effects can be managed, its damage is permanent.

Be Aware of the Risk Factors

You should be alert to the dangers of glaucoma, especially if you:

  • are over 40 years old
  • are African American or Hispanic
  • have diabetes, heart disease, sickle cell anemia, or high blood pressure
  • have a family history of glaucoma
  • sustained an eye injury
  • have extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • have used corticosteroid medications
  • notice any vision loss

How Do I Know if I Have Glaucoma?

Contact Dr. Ross Cusic at Low Vision Center At Optical Images, who will dilate the pupil of your eyes and perform a comprehensive eye examination to determine whether you have the condition. If you do, we will start treatment immediately, usually by prescribing eye medications to prevent the glaucoma from worsening, and schedule follow-up visits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting a thorough dilated eye exam by age 40 to catch glaucoma and other eye diseases early.

Other proactive steps the CDC advises to prevent glaucoma include:

  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • monitoring your blood pressure
  • staying active
  • not smoking

 

Low Vision Center At Optical Images treats patients with glaucoma — and people at risk for it — in Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia, Vancouver, and throughout Washington.

References

The 3rd Person in the Exam Room

adult woman with senior womanMany of the people who enter our offices seeking low vision care do so with a mixture of anxiety and trepidation. By the time we see them they will have already tried over-the-counter reading glasses, a variety of routine eyeglass prescriptions, hand-held magnifiers, and probably retinal treatments and AREDS vitamins — often to no avail.

Not only has their vision not improved, but they have been repeatedly told by their physician that “nothing more can be done,” at least from a medical perspective.

Eager for solutions, they reach out to Low Vision Center At Optical Images to give it one more try, often accompanied by a friend or loved one.

We recognize how important it is for many patients to have a “3rd person in the exam room.” Having a support person can be invaluable for the patient, in a variety of ways, by providing emotional support and guidance during and after visits to the practice. This support person can be a significant other, spouse, partner, adult child, aide, or caregiver.

Reasons to Have a Support Person Present at the Low Vision Evaluation

There are many reasons for having that third person in the room. One of them is the familiarity that helps calm the patient’s anxieties. Furthermore, even if a patient’s memory is intact, they rarely remember all the suggestions and recommendations discussed during the doctor’s visit — something a support person can help with.

The support person may be able to fill in any missing information regarding the patient’s visual needs and medical history if the patient isn’t able to do so.

Accompanying the patient to exams can give the support person a deeper understanding of the patient’s visual capabilities and limitations. They may be dismayed at the patient’s poor vision during the eye chart testing or elated to discover that the patient has usable vision that can be enhanced with the use of low vision aids and devices.

The “3rd person” can act as a cheerleader, encouraging the patient to try activities they thought were beyond their visual abilities. They can encourage the patient to try telescope glasses or read small print using a microscopic lens.

The support person can also help and remind the patient to correctly follow the instructions when using the low vision aids by, for example, ensuring the patient is holding the reading material at the correct reading distance and situating the desk lamp for maximum benefit and brightness.

Bring a Support Person to Your Next Low Vision Consultation

To ensure the best outcome, we highly recommend that patients invite a support person to join them for their vision evaluations and consultations with Dr. Ross Cusic.

To learn more about how Low Vision Center At Optical Images can help low vision patients make the most of their vision, please contact Dr. Ross Cusic today.

We serve low vision patients from Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia,Vancouver, all throughout Washington.

Reading Tips For Those With Macular Degeneration

Woman 1.7FD w Cap.KinkadeThe most serious symptom of macular degeneration (AMD) is the loss of central vision, with those in the more advanced stages of AMD experiencing a smudge or black spot in the center of their vision. This makes it difficult to read and causes many people to give up on reading.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Below you will find a list of low vision devices and strategies that can help people with AMD read more easily and comfortably.

Members of The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists are experts in determining which low vision devices will work best for you for reading.

Low Vision Devices for Reading

Reading Magnifier

Hand-held magnifiers are the most commonly used visual aids for spot reading among those with AMD and other low vision conditions. In the correct power, they are useful for reading medicine bottles, prices, labels, oven dials, etc. While you can find small pocket magnifiers, full-page illuminated magnifiers, and magnifiers that are mounted on adjustable stands, only your low vision doctor can determine exactly what power you need.

Portable Electronic Magnifiers

A portable electronic magnifier resembles an iPad or a tablet. By holding this device in front of your reading material, you can view the magnified version on its LED screen.

High-Power Reading Glasses

Strong magnifying reading eyeglasses enable a person with severe visual impairment to read the fine print. Your low vision eye doctor will determine the correct near prescription and demonstrate how they work.

Video Magnifier

Although traditional optical magnifiers, such as magnifying glasses, are generally very helpful, some people benefit more from a video magnifier. A video magnifier, or closed-circuit television (CCTV), has a camera that transmits magnified images (up to 50x or higher) and displays them on a large monitor or TV screen. You can sit as close to the screen as you like and adjust the magnification, brightness, and contrast for reading clarity.

Tele-Microscopic Glasses

Tele-microscopic lenses are mounted on the eyeglass lenses and may be prescribed for one or both eyes. They allow people with low vision to read, use a computer, write, and perform other tasks at a comfortable distance.

Certain low vision devices require a prescription from an eye doctor as they are custom-made for your specific needs. Consult Dr. Ross Cusic, who will help determine which vision aids are best for your needs, based on your lifestyle and level of vision impairment.

Other Strategies To Help You Read With Macular Degeneration

Increase in Contrast

It’s important to ensure a stark contrast between the text being read and its background. Newspapers don’t offer much contrast because the grey letters sit on an off-white background.

Many electronic screens allow you to tailor the contrast to your needs: black lettering on a white background; white lettering on a black background; black lettering on a yellow background; and yellow lettering on a dark black background. Try the different color combinations and settle on the color contrast combination that offers the best contrast for the most comfortable reading experience.

Increase Lighting

Increasing the amount and type of lighting can greatly improve reading ability in those with AMD.

Direct light. A standard table lamp usually won’t provide sufficient light for reading a book. Consider getting an adjustable gooseneck lamp that allows you to focus the light directly onto the reading material.

Sunlight. Because natural sunlight is the ideal lighting for reading, try to arrange your furniture in such a way that you can sit near a window for comfortable daytime reading.

Lightbulbs. Use the brightest light bulbs for each light fixture in the house. These include LED, halogen, and full-spectrum light bulbs (which mimics natural sunlight more than incandescent bulbs). Be careful with halogen, however, as they may create excessive heat. Replace any fluorescent lighting in the house, as it can cause glare, particularly for those with low vision. For reading, however, the best option is to use lower strength light bulbs and bring the lamp closer.

E-reader. Kindles and other e-readers conveniently include a built-in light that allows you to adjust brightness for more comfortable reading.

Large Print Books or Larger Fonts

Consider purchasing large print books online or in book shops, as they include larger fonts, more spacing and better contrast. If you opt for electronic books, you can conveniently increase the font size, rendering it easier and more enjoyable to read.

Adjust Spacing

Your electronic reading device allows you to adjust the spacing between the lines as needed. By widening the space between lines, you will find reading easier and will experience less eye strain.

Speak with Dr. Ross Cusic for more advice on reading with macular degeneration or to get low vision aids and devices.

Low Vision Center At Optical Images serves low vision patients in Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia, and Vancouver, throughout Washington.

 

Why All Low Vision Patients Are Upset

Bifocal Type R.By Richard J. Shuldiner, OD, FAAO, FIALVS, Chief Clinical Editor

In 1960, at the age of seven, Wayne F. was diagnosed with amblyopia in his left eye (commonly referred to as Lazy Eye), but it was left untreated. As an adult, Wayne scheduled regular eye exams every few years and received new glasses each time the vision in his right eye changed. In November of 2019, it was time to renew his driver’s license. During all previous DMV visits, Wayne could read the vision charts with the help of glasses. This trip was different.

How Wayne Suddenly Became a Low Vision Patient

Wayne’s vision had slowly deteriorated to the point where the DMV eye chart became impossible to read, and, to his surprise, his license was revoked. Wayne scheduled an appointment with his eye doctor to get new glasses. He expected that a new prescription would improve his vision enough to get his driver’s license reinstated. It also seemed like an opportunity to get new frames and a new look. That’s when Wayne received the news that dry macular degeneration had developed in his right eye, and that new glasses would not improve his vision. He was told, “Nothing more can be done.”

Wayne was devastated. Confusion and worry took over as he asked himself, “How will I get to work? How will I pay the mortgage? How will I support my family? What will become of me?”

Low Vision Patients Have a Reason to Be Upset

ALL low vision patients are upset. Every one of them. And it doesn’t matter if they have a happy disposition, a good attitude or have “accepted” it. They are upset.

As we know, Wayne is not alone. Many patients are struggling with the shocking news that new glasses will not restore their vision. Loss of vision is one of the major fears that people have. When it happens, the upset can be truly debilitating.

Definition of Low Vision

What exactly is “low vision”? There are many ways to say it, but for me, this is the most understandable: Best corrected vision is insufficient to do what you want to do.

The definition contains two variables: vision and task— the amount of vision available to work with, and the tasks the patient wants to be able to do. A person with no visual goals does not have low vision, regardless of the extent of vision loss.

What Is it Like?

Consider the plight of most of the low vision patients we see. They have had decent vision for most of their lives. They needed glasses at some point, for any of the refractive reasons, including presbyopia. Some solved their conditions with glasses, others with contact lenses, vision therapy, or a surgical procedure. In each case, these solutions enabled them to see well enough to do what they wanted to do.

Now, after scores of eye examinations over the years, they once again don’t see well. Still confident that their vision can be corrected, they make an appointment with clear expectations and intentions: stylish new frames, better contacts, clearer vision to enjoy life and be productive. After all, they’ve been through this many times. Only this time, it doesn’t happen.

Instead, they are told they have an “eye condition” that has caused them to lose vision permanently!

And, they are told that if there is a treatment, it won’t bring back the vision they have lost!

And, they may lose more vision!

And it could happen at any time!

And they might go blind!

And lastly, they are told, “There’s nothing more we can do!”

Each sentence stabs like a knife.

What Being Upset Is All About

Surprisingly, there are only three things that upset human beings.

  • Unfulfilled expectations
  • Thwarted intentions
  • Undelivered communications

Think about any time you have ever been upset. Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of who you think was to blame, regardless of what “they” did, regardless of the topic or whom it was with, the upset falls into one or more of the above three categories.

No one expects to lose vision permanently.

No one expects to hear these words from their eye doctor: “There’s nothing more that can be done.”

The expectation is that the doctor will have a solution to the problem.

The intention is to get new glasses, see better, get new frames and have a new, fashionable look.

They walk out in a daze, unable to communicate or even think clearly.

Upset Reactions

Three things happen to a human being when they become upset:

  • A shift in reality
  • A loss of affinity
  • A decrease in communication

Everyone knows not to make decisions when upset. Why? Because the shift in perception of reality leads to bad decisions. We’ve all experienced a reduction in both love and appreciation when we are upset with a loved one. And, we all know that getting someone to open up and communicate when they are upset is nearly impossible.

Words From an Eye Doctor

Life is full of unexpected and upsetting events and, like a flash of lightning, life can change in an instant. An event, such as being told you have Macular Degeneration (or some other vision-affecting eye condition) and that new glasses won’t help, becomes so upsetting that clear thinking is virtually impossible. What I’ve seen over the years while working with low vision patients is a state of chaos, of not knowing what to do, who to turn to, and how to deal with permanent vision loss. Confusion and fear take over as people have no idea what their lives will be like or what they should do.

Providing a Future

When faced with “going blind,” all the hopes and dreams of the future seem to be destroyed. The idea of having time to read great novels, travel to see famous sights, watch the grandchildren play their sports, and more is crushed in their minds. The future they have imagined is gone.

This is where low vision care comes in. People need a future to live into. Dr. Ross Cusic can give them that and reduce the turmoil they feel.

We are telling our patients today: “There is life after vision loss. There are low vision doctors who can help to keep you doing those things you love. Your life is not over.”

Advanced LOW VISION CARE is available at Low Vision Center At Optical Images and a fulfilling life is attainable. Low vision glasses (i.e. telescopes, microscopes, prismatics, filters, etc.), low vision devices, adaptive technology, large print materials, and auxiliary professionals, such as Occupational Therapists and Orientation/Mobility specialists are available. Dr. Ross Cusic is a member of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists and has years of experience treating and caring for low vision patients.

This article first appeared here: https://emailactivity1.ecn5.com/engines/publicPreview.aspx?blastID=2606173&emailID=387066764

Is It Possible to Read and Write With Macular Degeneration?

man reading a newspaper 3393375Once you’ve been diagnosed with macular degeneration, you may find yourself overwhelmed with questions. The uncertainty as to whether you will be able to read, write, and recognize faces can be depressing. Before you let these concerns weigh you down, contact a low vision optometrist, such as at , dedicated to helping macular degeneration patients live independent, fulfilling lives.

The Importance of Vision in Daily Tasks

“To help a person do what he or she wants to do” is the central idea behind the work of every low vision optometrist. Our goal is to enable patients to carry out activities that are important to them. The ability to engage in daily tasks concerns patients with macular degeneration the most, as many routine activities, such as reading and writing, rely on central vision.

Reading With Macular Degeneration

Think about how often throughout the day you use your eyes to read labels, street signs, bills, or restaurant menus.

With the loss of central vision, reading can become a true challenge. The good news is that there are devices that can enable you to read again, even with macular degeneration.

Writing With Macular Degeneration

Your grandchildren are about to come for dinner, and you want to cook their favorite dish. First, you need to write the shopping list to buy the necessary groceries. And maybe you want to leave a note for your spouse on the fridge to let them know you went shopping.

With the help of low vision glasses provided by an IALVS optometrist, an eye doctor with advanced training in treating patients with vision loss, you can write shopping lists, sign checks, or fill in your favorite crossword puzzles.

Recognizing Faces With Macular Degeneration

Reading and writing are technical tasks. However, central vision loss due to macular degeneration can have an emotional impact as well. Being able to see the delighted smiles on your grandchildren’s faces when you serve them their favorite dish can bring tremendous joy.

IALVS optometrists understand the emotional impact of vision loss and will address your concerns with compassion. will work to maximize your vision every step of the way, so you can continue to enjoy looking into the eyes of your loved ones.

What Type of Low Vision Glasses Do You Need?

Different types of low vision glasses enable macular degeneration patients to accomplish the tasks mentioned above. These include telescopic, microscopic, and prismatic reading glasses.

Prismatic glasses and microscopic glasses are designed for reading and writing. Both types provide the wearer with clear vision at a close range. Thanks to these lenses, you can continue to engage in the activities you enjoy, such as play cards, knit sweaters, or build airplane models.

For face recognition, a low vision optometrist may recommend telescopic lenses. These help you clearly see things at a far distance — such as the face of a child walking towards you from the front gate.

Consult a Low Vision Optometrist

The three essential tasks for which vision is paramount can be helped with a variety of low vision aids and devices. Consult a low vision optometrist, such as at , who can enable you to engage in a variety of other tasks on your wishlist.

serves patients in Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia, Vancouver, and throughout Washington.

I Have Best Disease. Will I Be Able to Drive?

driving with best diseaseThis question reflects the primary concern of almost every patient with Best vitelliform macular dystrophy. The genetic disorder affects central vision, which is vital to reading road signs, seeing traffic lights, and detecting emergencies while driving.

“The thing to know about this disease is that it does not progress to severe vision loss”, says our IALVS colleague and low vision optometrist, Dr. Robert Stamm. Almost all of his patients, he says, can be helped with bioptic telescope glasses. “They can be very efficient, safe, and effective for drivers and help keep their independence through most of their lives with this disease”.

There Are Good Chances for Driving With Best Disease

In most states, low vision optometrists can help you obtain your driver’s license. If you already have a license, but recently experienced a deterioration in your vision, we may be able to help you stay behind the wheel with the help of innovative low vision glasses, custom made to your prescription. Bioptic telescope lenses enable people to keep driving for most of their lives with Best disease.

If you have been told that you won’t be able to drive because your vision does not meet the legal requirements, you should consult a low vision optometrist near you, such as Dr. Ross Cusic. Best disease is a rare condition, and not every eye doctor can help guide you on the laws and devices or custom optics that allow you to drive again.

Driving With the Help of Bioptic Telescope Lenses

Bioptic telescope glasses help people with low vision drive and perform many other vital tasks. These low vision glasses combine your regular prescription lenses on the bottom with telescopic prescription lenses on top. The regular lenses are called the “carrier lens”. The second set of lenses are much smaller and provide high magnification, making an object appear larger and closer, so it is easier to see.

Driving while wearing bioptic telescopes is easy; almost anyone can get used to them. Most of the time, you will be looking through the carrier lenses. As you approach a traffic sign you will be able to read it through the telescopic lenses. All you need is to slightly tilt your head down and focus on the sign to read.

Is Driving With Vision Loss Allowed?

Most states permit driving with the assistance of advanced optics, such as bioptic telescopes. However, the regulations vary according to each state and province. A low vision optometrist can assist you in understanding the rules that pertain to you and help you through the process.

You will generally need to reach a certain level of visual acuity with or without glasses to obtain a driver’s license. The minimum vision requirement varies. In some states, bioptic glasses are mandatory from a specific level.

Check out the local driving laws and regulations here: https://www.ialvs.com/dmv-driving-laws/, or simply contact your nearest low vision optometrist at Low Vision Center At Optical Images.

What Does a Low Vision Optometrist Have to Do With Driving?

Low vision optometrists are familiar with the visual requirements for obtaining a driver’s license. They also know which low vision aids can be used for driving and have the chance of achieving the desired visual acuity for you. Dr. Ross Cusic will examine your eyesight and can maximize your remaining vision.

We work with each patient individually to establish the tasks they wish to accomplish. The next step is to assess and determine which devices and optics can help them reach those goals. Many patients are able to continue driving after working with a low vision optometrist.

Are you concerned about driving or carrying out another activity you value? Contact IALVS optometrist, Dr. Ross Cusic, at Low Vision Center At Optical Images today for a consultation. Schedule a low vision exam to get your personal assessment and let us help you optimize your remaining vision.

Low Vision Center At Optical Images serves low vision patients from Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia, Vancouver, and throughout Washington.

 

When To Contact A Low Vision Doctor: When You Can’t See To Do What You Want To Do

Question mark on blackboardWhen you break your leg, you feel the pain of the fracture and visit a doctor to repair the broken limb. When you hurt your back, you go to a chiropractor to relieve the intense pain. But what happens when you experience vision loss without even noticing it? How do you know when to visit a low vision doctor if you don’t feel any pain?

What Are the Common Symptoms of Vision Loss?

Some signs of vision loss often go unnoticed until the symptoms are far along. Signs of vision loss typically include the following:

  • Blurry vision
  • Cloudy vision
  • Decreased peripheral (side) vision
  • Difficulty seeing clearly at night
  • Frequent headaches
  • Reduced central vision (what you see straight ahead)
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Sensitivity to light

Especially in its earlier stages, certain signs of low vision can easily be attributed to other things. Frequent headaches can be triggered by stress or excessive computer use, light sensitivity can develop from migraines, anxiety, or certain medications, and even blurry vision may be the result of an eye infection, exhaustion, or dehydration.

When Low Vision Becomes Serious

Blonde Woman, sad about low vision diagnosisSo how can you know when your symptoms are serious? One way to know is by paying attention to how changes in vision affect your daily life. If driving at night becomes increasingly difficult, if you notice that headaches are becoming persistent, or if reading or watching TV isn’t enjoyable because the images are unclear, it may be more than just a temporary symptom.

Low vision is a significant visual impairment, which isn’t corrected by simply wearing glasses or contact lenses. It not only impacts your everyday activities, but can cause long-term vision loss – even blindness, if left untreated – so if doing what you love is becoming hard because of poor vision, it’s time to visit a low vision doctor.

How Does A Low Vision Doctor Help?

A low vision doctor focuses on maximizing your remaining vision to help you continue doing what you enjoy. Dr. Ross Cusic does this with the help of low vision glasses and devices. These tools magnify images, allowing you to see details for sharp, clear vision.

If vision loss makes it hard for you to read your favorite book or a restaurant menu, microscope glasses can help. They enlarge the text so you can enjoy reading once again. Have fun dining out with friends without asking for help reading the menu. It’s all about living an independent life in the best way possible!

Elderly asian man, dark eye-colorWhen it comes to the people closest to you, there’s nothing more painful than being unable to recognize them. Low vision can make it hard to recognize faces, so when your grandchildren come to visit, of course, you want to see their smiling faces in detail. Low Vision Center At Optical Images can help you with that by providing you with the right low vision devices.

If you love the freedom and independence that driving offers, vision loss can make that difficult. Your low vision optometrist can fit you for bioptic telescope glasses. These devices magnify objects like street signs and traffic lights. These elements of your environment appear sharper, so you can see them clearly and can continue driving safely, even while driving at night.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any symptoms of vision loss, schedule a visit with Low Vision Center At Optical Images. Dr. Ross Cusic will perform a thorough eye exam and talk to you about how to maximize your remaining vision to help you continue doing the things you want to do, for the best quality of life.

Why AMD Patients Need 2 Doctors

man with macular degenerationCentral vision is an important element of your overall vision, allowing you to see images and objects as you look straight ahead. This function affects your ability to read books, drive a car, watch TV, or recognize faces of the people you love. For patients with Macular Degeneration, these everyday functions become difficult.

Treatment For Age-Related Macular Degeneration

While there is no cure for AMD, there are some things you can do – together with your doctors – to stop the disease from deteriorating further and prevent total blindness.

For the most effective treatment, patients should visit 2 doctors: one to treat the medical condition itself and one to manage the patient’s vision.

Why 2 Doctors?

Since Age-Related Macular Degeneration is an eye disease, visiting a medical doctor is necessary. Just like going to your family doctor for an illness or injury, proper medical care for your eyes is critical. One doctor treats the medical condition by preventing AMD from worsening, while a Low Vision doctor enhances the patient’s remaining vision.

What Medical Care Involves

Elderly woman using bioptic telescopesMedical care from your eye doctor typically includes monitoring your blood pressure, since high BP can negatively impact the many blood vessels in the eye. Your doctor can also help you quit smoking. This is important because smoking increases the risk of developing AMD between 2-5 times!

Improving your diet is something your doctor can assist with, as well. Foods rich in zinc and antioxidants have been shown to protect against and slow down the progression of AMD. Daily nutritional supplements are known to aid in slowing down the disease. Look for those which include high amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Zinc, and Copper.

For more severe cases of AMD, the doctor may suggest treatments such as laser surgery, injecting light-sensitive dyes, or AMD medication, which is injected directly into the eye. These options can suppress the growth of abnormal blood vessels, which is what causes the wet form of Macular Degeneration to develop.

What Low Vision Care Involves

A Low Vision doctor helps optimize your remaining vision with devices like magnifiers and telescopes. These aids can enlarge images so that you can see them in greater detail. Some aids are placed on special glasses to allow you to drive, read, write, or use a computer with sharper, clearer vision. Others can magnify images in your direct line of vision, allowing you to recognize facial details with clarity.

Dr. Ross Cusic’s goal is to use your remaining vision to enable you to do the things you enjoy. If AMD makes it difficult for you to read books, drive to shop or run errands, enjoy screen time on your computer or smartphone, and spend time with friends or family, we can help. The staff at Low Vision Center At Optical Images can recommend the best visual aids and devices for you.

Symptoms

Medical illustration of eyePatients may show signs of AMD without even knowing it, until more noticeable symptoms develop, such as deteriorating vision.

The most frequent signs of AMD include:

  • Blind spots
  • Blurry or cloudy vision
  • Distorted images
  • Fuzzy-looking vision
  • Shadows or dark spots on an image or object

If you or a loved is showing any of these signs – even in mild form – speak to Dr. Ross Cusic immediately. The earlier AMD is diagnosed, the sooner it can be managed.

If you have any questions or concerns, speak with our staff at Low Vision Center At Optical Images and schedule a consultation. Let us help enhance your central vision and help you find the best way to enjoy a better quality of life.

Where Can I Find A Low Vision Doctor?

woman reading with low vision

  • Reading your favorite books is difficult.
  • You squint a lot while watching TV.
  • When friends or family come to visit, you find it hard to clearly see their faces.
  • Driving is hard because the street signs, exit ramps, and other cars seem blurry.

Does this sound familiar? If you’ve experienced any of these situations, then you know how difficult it has become to do the daily tasks you used to enjoy. Whether your vision loss is a result of an injury, genetic condition, or eye disease, getting the right kind of eyecare is essential.

I Have An Eye Doctor. Why Do I Need A Low Vision Doctor?

Low vision care is about more than just glasses or contacts for better eyesight. It’s about a thorough understanding of your lifestyle and what’s important to you, and optimizing your remaining vision so you can get back to doing what you love.

While your regular eye doctor can give you general vision care and prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, a low vision doctor looks at the whole picture. Their goal is to slow down the progression of vision loss and provide you with the right devices and glasses to enhance your remaining vision.

How Do I Find A Low Vision Doctor?

Elderly man having difficulty readingThe International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) has a network of low vision doctors who are located all over the US and Canada. That means there is a low vision eye doctor who treats patients in your area, so you won’t have to go very far to receive top-quality care.

Our doctors undergo special training and have access to the latest research and technologies for low vision care. IALVS doctors are ready to help you live your best life, even with vision loss. Check out the complete doctor directory online.

How Quickly Will My Visual Activity Improve?

Treating your low vision is about giving you the right tools to maximize your vision for the everyday kinds of activities you enjoy. How quickly your visual activity will improve depends on how much loss of visual acuity you have and how quickly you see a low vision eye doctor.

It’s so important to see a low vision doctor as soon as possible. If you find that cooking isn’t as easy as it used to be, watching a movie gives you a headache, or reading a newspaper causes your eyes to feel tired, it’s time to talk to a low vision eye doctor. The sooner you seek treatment, the quicker we can give you the support you need.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any signs of vision loss – even mild ones – schedule an appointment with one of our low vision doctors.

Even if you’ve been told by another doctor that there’s nothing else to do, don’t give up hope. Talk to an IALVS low vision doctor – we can help you stay independent and live your life with the best vision possible.

Trouble Seeing Your Grandkids' Faces?
Low Vision Devices Can Help

Are you frustrated that your poor vision is it getting in the way of life?
Is it hard to do simple things, such as seeing your adorable grandchildren's facesolder woman w glasses

You’re not alone. Many people develop vision problems later in life, which can be difficult and overwhelming. Your vision problems may become so severe that you become dependent on those around you to perform simple tasks. For those who are accustomed to an active and independent life, this is very challenging.

However, there’s no need to suffer. Our eye clinic carries low vision devices to help you see again.

What Is Low Vision?

Low vision generally refers to vision impairment that can’t be corrected fully with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, medications, or surgical procedures. Low vision means significant vision loss, but does not include complete blindness.

People that have low vision are often classified into two groups: partially sighted and legally blind. Those that are considered partially sighted have visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200 with the aid of corrective lenses. Those that are considered legally blind have visual acuity that is no better than 20/200 with regular corrective lenses.

What Are The Causes Of Low Vision?

The major culprits of low vision problems are age-related retinal conditions. Cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, cancer of the eye, stroke, eye injury or trauma, albinism, or brain injury can cause low vision.

What Are The Symptoms Of Low Vision?

Possible symptoms include blurred or hazy vision, night blindness, loss of central vision, and loss of peripheral vision.

What To Do Now

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Low vision eye diseases such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, while not completely curable, can be treated by our experts. Our low vision doctors have the latest technologies, low vision aids, and glasses to help you see again. Inexpensive optical and non-optical aids, as well as electronic and digital magnifiers, can be extremely effective in treating low vision.

 

Act Now

Having trouble seeing your grandkids can be a tough and painful experience. We can help! Contact us today at to see how we can help you regain your independence and start living life to the fullest. Our low vision center offers patients low vision aids and glasses that will improve your vision and give you healthy and happy eyes.

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