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Dry Eye Center Keratoconus & Specialty Contacts Low Vision Care

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Dry Eye Center Keratoconus & Specialty Contacts Low Vision Care

low vision eye doctor Kirkland, WA

Regain Your Independence With Telescope Glasses For The Visually Impaired

Seattle’s Low Vision Doctor

With Low Vision Devices For Macular Degeneration, Diabetes & Other
Eye Diseases That Cause Vision Loss

We welcome patients from the greater Seattle area and all over the world that place their trust in Dr. Ross Cusic and our leading Low Vision Center. Dr. Cusic is a founding member of the premier low vision organization in the world, The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists. The mission of the IALVS and our Seattle low vision clinic is to utilize the latest technology to offer hope to people with visual impairment by helping them regain their independence through maximizing their remaining vision.

Over the course of his work with low vision patients, Dr. Cusic has helped thousands of patients with vision impairment lead a more fulfilling and independent life.

Doctor Cusic photo

Dr. Ross Cusic, OD

Founding Member Of The International Academy Of Low Vision Specialists

Changing Lives One Pair Of Telescope Glasses At A Time

Grounbreaking low vision care featured on


Regain Your Indepence with Low Vision Aides for AMD, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, and Inoperable Cataracts …

Common Questions About Low Vision?

As one of the only Low Vision Doctors in Washington state and the only low vision doctor in Seattle, Dr. Cusic is often asked questions about low vision care and the options for patients with eye diseases that affect their vision such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Low Vision Causes
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa
  • Stargardt’s Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Stroke-Hemianopsia
  • Albinism and other vision limiting diseases
  • Achromatopsia
  • Cataracts
  • Macular hole
  • Optic Atrophy
  • Nystagmus
  • Pathological Myopia
  • Rod Cone Dystrophy
  • Fuchs Dystrophy
What is Low Vision?

Low Vision is defined as having best-corrected vision that is insufficient to do what you want to do. No matter if the low vision patient is using glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery, if they are unable to perform activities which they require then they are classified as being low vision. Many of our patients from Seattle visit Dr. Cusic as he is the leading eye doctor for low vision patients in the Seattle area.

What Causes Low Vision?

Vision loss occurs from a variety of causes. Some conditions are medical. Examples are macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. Some conditions are genetic. Examples include Stargardt's Disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa, and albinism. Other causes can be congenital or traumatic, such as from a stroke or brain injury. Our Seattle based low vision doctor is more concerned with the amount of remaining vision, not the cause of the loss itself. 

How is a Low Vision Exam Different?

A low vision examination is quite different from a regular eye examination. It is a longer examination usually lasting one hour or more. It is a vision and function examination; therefore medical tests such as dilation are usually omitted. The first part of the low vision examination is conversing with the patient to find out how the reduced vision is affecting their life. The wish list is created so the doctor understands what the patient's goals are.

The second part is extensive vision testing. Careful refraction is performed to find out if a new regular eyeglass prescription will help.

Part three works with magnification, illumination and other optical and non-optical low vision devices. The doctor must determine the best form and level of magnification needed for the person to perform the desired tasks. Telescopes, microscopes, and prisms, with varying levels of magnification and strength as well as other magnification devices, are presented to the patient. Illumination levels must be determined as lighting plays a major role in vision.

Part four is another conversation with the patient to determine the best form and level of magnification for that particular person's task requirements.

When Do I Get My Glasses?

It usually takes two to four weeks for specialized reading glasses or telescopic glasses to be fabricated. Arrangements can be made to have them sooner in some circumstances. If a person has a special event happening and needs the glasses, the lab can usually expedite the order.

Do Vitamins Help?

Yes, vitamins can help. There is a large and growing body of evidence that an eye-specific vitamin can slow the progression of macular degeneration. In 2001, the National Eye Institute published their findings from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, or AREDS I. This study showed that by taking vitamins A, C, E, and zinc the deterioration of the macula can be slowed. Since that time, researchers have identified other nutrients that play a role in preventing vision loss and possibly improving visual function, such as lutein, zeaxanthin and omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil. Taking an eye-specific vitamin that contains all of the vitamins and nutrients you need, in the amounts necessary to reach therapeutic levels for your macular can be difficult. At Optical Images, serving Seattle WA, we have done the research into different products and will be happy to discuss our recommendations with you. Your macular health is our priority.


How Do I Know The Glasses Will Work After I Get Them?

During the evaluation, the patient will use actual low vision telescope, microscope and prismatic glasses on the tasks desired. The doctor and the patient will see that they work BEFORE they are ordered. This will be done again when the patient picks up the glasses. We never order glasses until the patient knows that they work.

What if my vision changes after I get the glasses?

Almost always, prescriptions and magnification levels can be changed without the need for a whole new pair of glasses. We offer a twelve-month warranty if the prescription changes at no charge to the patient. It is interesting that changes are actually rarely needed.

How Do I Pay For My Low Vision Glasses?

Optical Images accept cash, personal check, and all major credit cards. In addition, we offer no-interest and low-interest financing.

How is a Low Vision Optometrist Different from a Regular Eye Doctor?

Our Low Vision eye doctor in Seattle has been trained in the physics, optics, and use of high powered lenses and lens systems. They understand the principles of magnification, field of view, depth and of focus. They also have a working knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of the multitude of low vision glasses, magnifiers, electronic and non-optical devices available.

A low vision specialist understands how to work with patients and families who can be extremely upset, fearful, and even depressed. A low vision optometrist needs to have the patience and time to explain the eye and vision condition and what the future may hold for patients who may be confused, misinformed and/or have an unrealistic view of their future. A low vision eye doctor has compassion and empathy for what the patient and family is going through as well as the knowledge, resources, and experience to help them adjust to the difficult situation. Our low vision doctor serving the greater Seattle area knows how to analyze a task according to the amount of vision, lighting, working distance and field of view needed for completion. Dr. Cusic is an expert at designing low vision reading glasses or telescopic glasses to meet the needs of the patient.

What are the Costs Involved With Low Vision Telescopes?

The Low Vision Evaluation takes one hour and our fee is $295. Unfortunately, it is not covered by Medicare or private insurance. Low Vision glasses vary in costs depending upon the following factors: the average cost for previous patients has been around $2100. Here are some facts to consider:

  1. Type of lens system: Telescopic, Microscope, Prismatic, E-Scoop

  2. Monocular or Binocular: Some systems must be monocular (one eye); some binocular, and some may be either.

  3. The level of magnification required

  4. The eyeglass prescription of the patient

  5. The frame used for the system

  6. The number of items on the wishlist

Low Vision devices are considered to be "task-specific". The glasses are designed to complete the task desired. From time to time it is possible to design a pair of glasses for multiple tasks. Often this is not possible.

What Is The Free Telephone Interview?

The free telephone interview is a way of limiting the time, expense and disappointment of people who probably cannot be helped by low vision care. Dr. Cusic of Optical Images, a low vision clinic serving Seattle, WA has determined that asking the right questions on the phone could determine if a patient was qualified for low vision services. "If not, why put the patient through the time and expense only to be extremely disappointed" says Dr. Cusic. During the free telephone interview, the doctor will ask questions regarding vision, functional abilities, goals, motivation, health, and mobility to determine if an appointment is in the best interests of the caller.

What Makes Optical Images Unique?

blurry driving

Driving With Low Vision

One of the most common questions our low vision doctor receives in our Seattle Low Vision Clinic is, "Will I be able to drive again?".

While every case is different, in many cases the answer is YES, you can drive with Bioptic Telescope glasses. Dr. Cusic has helped patients with Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Retinitis Pigmentosa and other low vision diseases get back on the road again.

Read about. Driving With Macular Degeneration.

elder woman sitting with glasses

One Disease Two Doctors

Diseases that cause low vision are unique, they require two doctors to provide the patient care needed.

The Ophthalmologist or Retinologist, to care for the medical health of the eye, and a low vision optometrist to maximize a patients remaining vision.

Dr. Cusic is a founding member of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists, an international organization aimed at helping patients utilize the latest technology to maximize their remaining vision.

happy family outside

Hope For Macular Degeneration

AMD is the leading cause of vision loss for Americans over 60. While AMD is not curable, there is a reason not to give up hope. The latest optical technology and digital technology have created breakthroughs that will allow a person with AMD to read, drive, sew, paint, use the computer and see their grandkids.

  • If you have macular degeneration it doesn’t mean you must give up driving. Binoculars make things look bigger and closer, and much easier to see. Seattle Washington Optometrist, Dr. Ross Cusic is using miniaturized binoculars or telescopes to help people who have low vision.
  • Seattle Low Vision Doctor, Dr. Ross Cusic helps patients with Macular Degeneration drive.
  • Dr. Cusic is proud to have been the first low vision doctor in the state of Washington to enable a legally blind person to drive with bioptic telescopes. Learn more about how Dr. Cusic and the his Seattle based low vision clinic has helped countless people drive again with low vision.
  • Dr. Ross Cusic is a low vision optometrist and member of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialist

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