Friday, February 1, 2019

February is Low Vision Awareness Month

Low vision is when people have difficulty seeing even with regular glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery, making everyday tasks difficult to do. Most people develop low vision because of eye diseases and health conditions like macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma, and diabetes. Eye injuries and birth defects are other causes.

Difficulty with any of the following—even when wearing glasses or contact lenses—could be an early warning sign of vision loss or eye disease:
 • Recognizing faces
 • Getting around the neighborhood 
 • Sewing or fixing things around the house 
 • Selecting and matching the color of clothes 
The sooner vision loss or eye disease is detected, the greater the chances of keeping the remaining vision. 

Low vision can make reading the mail, shopping, cooking, watching TV, and writing a challenge. Although vision that is lost usually cannot be restored, many people can make the most of the vision they have.

           Vision rehabilitation helps people adapt to vision loss and maintain their current lifestyle. A vision rehabilitation program offers a wide range of services, including training in the use of magnifiers and other adaptive devices, ways to complete daily living skills safely and independently, guidance on modifying residences, and information on where to locate resources and support. These programs typically include a team of professionals consisting of a primary eye care professional and an optometrist or ophthalmologist specializing in low vision. Occupational therapists, orientation and mobility specialists, certified low vision therapists, counselors, and social workers may also be a part of this team.

Check out this video from NEHEP to learn more: