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.
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.
- Macular Degeneration
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Retinitis Pigmentosa
- Stargardt’s Disease
- Albinism and other vision limiting diseases
- Macular hole
- Optic Atrophy
- Pathological Myopia
- Rod Cone Dystrophy
- Fuchs Dystrophy
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Optical Images accept cash, personal check, and all major credit cards. In addition, we offer no-interest and low-interest financing.
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.
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:
Type of lens system: Telescopic, Microscope, Prismatic, E-Scoop
Monocular or Binocular: Some systems must be monocular (one eye); some binocular, and some may be either.
The level of magnification required
The eyeglass prescription of the patient
The frame used for the system
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.
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.