Adjustment to any vision loss is difficult. It takes self-acceptance, determination, support of family and friends, and learning new techniques to fully utilize any remaining vision. The goal of the Low Vision Services is to enable people with low vision to improve their ability to use their remaining vision so they can be independent and better able to meet the demands of everyday living.
What is Low Vision?
Low Vision RehabLow vision is impaired vision that cannot be fully restored by conventional glasses, contact lenses, medical treatment, or surgery.
Low vision is not total blindness
People with low vision may still have some potentially useful vision.
Over 4 million Americans have low vision
68 % are over the age of 65.
6 % age 65 to 74.
12 % age 75 to 84
21 % over age 85
Learn To Use New Devices
Most people with low vision can become more visually independent if they make a commitment to learn how to use low vision aids and devices, as well as learn new methods to perform everyday tasks.
What are the major causes of low vision?
Low vision can be due to heredity, an injury, disease, or aging. Some of the most common causes of low vision are macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, optic atrophy, retinitis pigmentosa, retinal detachment, and stroke. Regardless of the cause of vision loss, we offer patients options that will enable them to use their vision to its fullest potential.
Do patients need to be referred to our Low Vision Services?
We accept all patients regardless who you usual family eye doctor is. At the conclusion of the low vision evaluation and rehabilitation period, the patient is instructed to return to your doctor for routine eye care.
How is the low vision patient helped?
We begin our low vision examination by asking questions about the history of your vision loss, what difficulties you are having performing tasks such as reading, writing, personal hygiene, cooking, and watching television. We will look for activities you have discontinued or have difficulty performing due to the vision loss. Throughout the examination we will be looking for ways to help you accomplish the tasks and activities that you desire.
There are many different devices available for a person with low vision, including magnifiers, telescopes, microscopes (high plus lenses for reading), custom lighting, and a special television to magnify reading material and photographs. Custom designed low vision devices also may be prescribed. Many patients use a combination of devices.
Vision Rehabilitation Plan
After completing the low vision examination, we will design a vision rehabilitation plan. The plan will include the goals to which the team and you have agreed; the devices that best fit those goals and your lifestyle; the training and support that will be the most helpful; and referral to supporting services and agencies.
At subsequent visits, the devices will be dispensed and you will be trained on their proper use. Using the devices for independent living activities such as cooking, shopping, and reading mail, will also be taught. Computer technology and electronic reading devices will be evaluated if you have specific goals that can be met by them.
The Benefit to You
You can improve your remaining vision so that you can live as independently as possible, and have a productive and happy life.
We provide diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases which affect the human eye and visual system.
Dry Eye Syndrome occurs when the normal flow of tears over the eyes is interrupted, or the tear film is abnormal. In many cases, dry eye syndrome is a life long problem. You can relieve the symptoms, but not cure the original cause. Artificial tear lubricants or in some cases blocking the tear ducts will concentrate the limited tears that are available.
Keratoconus is a disorder that occurs when the cornea, which is typically rounded, becomes cone-shaped. The progression is usually slow and can stop at any stage from mild to severe. This distortion increases as the cornea bulges and thins. The apex of the cornea often scars, reducing the vision. Treatment of Keratoconus is most effective with gas permeable contact lenses, designed specifically for the irregular corneal surface. If contact lens treatment is not successful, surgical corneal transplant may be necessary.
Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition when a diabetic persons blood sugar gets too high. High blood sugar levels start a series of events which end in damaged blood vessel walls. As such, the blood vessels begin to leak fluid or bleed, causing the retina to swell and form deposits know as exudates. Vision can be lost if these spots are not watched and treated. Here, at our office, we carefully examine the back of your eyes to follow and manage this and other important eye diseases.
Cataract is a clouding or opacity of the natural internal lens of the eye. This opacity may be a small spot or may cover the entire lens. When light enters the eye it is scattered, causing images to appear hazy and blurred. There are many different types of cataracts. The one shown here is a cortical cataract. Here the opacity forms first is the periphery of the lens and develops inward, like spokes of a wheel. Ultimately, the best treatment is to remove the cataract lens and replace it with an acrylic man made lens. This is referred to as cataract surgery.
Macular Degeneration is a condition in which the central part of the back of the eye loses blood circulation. It is considered a natural aging process. There is a breakdown of retinal pigment epithelium cells in the macular region. As the disease progresses, central vision diminishes. It is believed that this breakdown may be due to a lack of nutrients being supplied to the region. Additional studies have found a genetic link to this disease. Treatment can range from better nutritional management, sometimes to include a tablet containing the primary minerals and vitamins that are found lacking in many macular degenerated patients.
All staff are residency trained doctors who have done extensive study into the mechanism of disease that affect the eye and their diagnosis and treatment. The Service is open six days a week and accepts major medical insurance as well as Medicare and MediCal. We also provide an urgent care phone number that is accessible 24 hours a day.
Eye injuries can occur at any time. Our office is equiped to handle most eye injuries. The primary instrument we use is a biomicroscope, sometimes referred to as a slit lamp. The biomicroscope has a high magnification and is particularly designed to aid us in evaluating the extent of an eye injury. Whether it is a laceration, foreign particle embedded or a burn, the biomicroscope is the primary tool to carefully examination the injury.
Embedded Foreign Bodies
A common injury is a hot iron metalic foreign body embedded in the cornea. Grinding or drilling in iron or other metals will release particles that are hot and when they hit the eye they embed themselves in the cornea. If it is iron, as in this example, it will immediatley begin to rust due to the salty consistency of our tears. When the metal particle is removed, there is a remaining rust deposit that has infiltrated the surrounding cornea. We have experience at removing these rust spots. With proper medical treatment these injuries resolve well.
If the foreign particle was embedded in the central visual axis of the cornea, there may be a scar remaining which could effect the patients ultimate visual acuity. Safety glasses are always recommended to prevent these type of injuries.
Contusions, otherwise referred to as a "black eye" can result in more than just the obvious bruises on the face. The retina is the nerve tissue that senses light which lines the back of the eye. There is a blood vessel layer under the retina. This is very delicate and sensitive tissue.
A compression type of injury can knock the retina loose and cause bleeding underneath. These examples show both retinal hemorrhage and retinal detachment. Both can result in blindness to the effected eye. Immediate examination and subsequent treatment is needed in these type of injuries.
Emergency Eye Care
If you have symptoms of "Flashes of Light" in your vision, when there is no light to explain the flashes, this could mean that there is something happening on the back of the eye. The eye does not have any pain sensors so flashes are your best clue that there is something wrong. In contrast the cornea (the clear window on the front of the eye) has more nerve pain sensors that any other part of the body. Injury to the cornea can be incredibly painful. However, in both cases, immediate treatment is needed. Our office staff is well trained to know how to expedite the treatment of these type of injuries. Call immediately when an injury occurs. we are here to help.
Below is a list of vision insurance plans that we accept. If your plan is not listed, please call us and ask because we may accept it.