What is low vision and what options are available for enhancing low vision?

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Low vision is uncorrectable visual loss that interferes with daily activities.   It cannot be improved with regular glasses, contact lenses, or medical intervention. Individuals with low vision may experience any combination of a reduction or loss of colour vision, central or peripheral vision, and a reduction in the ability to adjust to changing levels of light, contrast, and glare.

Are you or someone you know struggling to adjust to declining vision? Are you experiencing difficulty with driving, seeing faces, reading text, cooking, interacting with the environment around you?  While it is not possible to regain vision reduced by glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, or genetic conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa, there are ways to enhance your remaining vision.

The simple use of additional lighting can be beneficial, such as adding a floor lamp or a task lamp to an area. Using contrast to enhance the ability to locate certain objects in a space can also be helpful. Changing light switch covers to a dark colour on a white wall, painting floor trim a very light colour on a dark wall and a very dark colour on a white wall, using a white mug for black coffee, and a black cup for milk,  or setting a white plate on a black table cloth, for example.

Using large print books and games, talking devices, and writing guides can allow for easier ways to continue to enjoy tasks that have become difficult.  

Additional optical options include tints that can help manage glare symptoms, specialized glasses, magnifiers, and high tech computerized magnifying devices. 

A low vision assessment where a detailed evaluation of your visual ability and desired goals are determined is the first place to start. Cowichan Eyecare is excited to now offer more services to our patients with low vision. No referral is necessary.  Please contact our office at 250 743 8899 for more information or to schedule an assessment. 

Written by Trevor Miranda

Dr. Miranda was raised in Simcoe, Ontario and graduated from the University of Waterloo with his Doctorate of Optometry in 1995. Following graduation, he moved to beautiful Vancouver Island, where he continues to serve the eye care needs of the Cowichan Valley. Trevor is also an active member of the Third World Eye Care Society and has participated with other professionals to improve the vision of the less fortunate. Dr. Miranda was named Optometrist of the Year by the British Columbia Association of Optometrists in March 2015. This prestigious honour recognized Dr. Miranda’s commitment to providing every patient with exceptional care while mentoring optometrists across Canada. Outside the office, you will find Trevor enjoying hockey, coaching soccer, involved with the South Cowichan Rotary Club, and spending time with his wife Cheryl and their three children. Trevor looks forward to continuing to care for the eyes of the Cowichan Valley and welcomes new patients without a referral. Dr. Miranda is available for appointments in our Duncan and Cobble Hill.
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