About Low Vision

There are many people who have a vision loss that is not correctable with typical eyeglasses or contact lenses. They've lost some vision and are unable to see well enough to participate in activities that are important to them. We say that these people have low vision. Eye diseases like macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, Stargardt's disease and glaucoma, among others, are common causes of low vision.
For many years there have been optometrists who help low vision patients see better so they can return to a more normal life. Special telescopic or microscopic glasses are often prescribed which help the person return to reading, driving, using a computer, participating in hobbies or crafts. Some people are able to return to work.
Most of these people have been told by their eye doctors that nothing can be done to help them. It is true that there is no cure for these diseases and the vision will not return to normal. The job of the low vision optometrist is to evaluate the person's remaining vision and prescribe appropriate glasses or other devices which magnify what is seen, making it easier to see.

Free Telephone Consultation
My practice is totally dedicated to helping low vision patients. That is all that I do. I always speak with patients before scheduling a low vision evaluation. That helps me understand how much remaining vision they have and what their goals are. I also answer questions and give the person an idea of what to expect from the evaluation and from the special glasses. I only schedule people who I can help.
Call me for a free telephone consultation. I will be happy to speak with you and I will tell you if I can help you see better. Call toll free 1 866 321-2030
I see low vision patients in offices in Roanoke, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Wytheville, VA.

More information at VirginiaLowVision.com and facebook.com/VirginiaLowVisionOptometrist

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bioptic Glasses and Driving

When I talk with people who have experienced a vision loss from eye disease I always ask what they would like to be able to do if I am able to help them. A large number would like to return to driving. Some have given up driving voluntarily and others have been unable to meet the requirements of the DMV and have lost their license. In either case they have lost their independence. They are now dependant on others to help them do the simplest of things, like a trip to the grocery store or post office or church.

Let me explain a bit about driving with low vision glasses. Bioptic telescopic glasses have small telescopes imbedded in the upper part of the regular lens. The person's eyeglass prescription is in the telescope as well as the regular lens. The telescope is used to spot things that need to be seen better like traffic signals, signs, other cars, people, etc. The person just lowers their chin a little, takes a quick look through the telescope and then goes back to driving with the main lens of the glasses, called the carrier lens. You will see examples of my patients wearing bioptic telescopes as I begin to post actual patient experiences and photos.

The laws are different in each state regarding driving with bioptic telescopes. Some allow persons to be licensed to drive with these special glasses and some states do not. All states will allow you to drive with the telescopic glasses if you already have a valid license. If you are wondering about your state's regulations you can check with the DMV or call me toll free and I'll tell you what your state allows and we can talk about whether you are likely to be able to meet the requirements. Call me at 1 866 321-2030. There is no charge for the call or the consultation.

My state, Virginia, is one of the states that issues a special driver's license for persons requiring bioptic telescopic glasses. Our DMV requires at least 20/200 in the better eye with the normal eyeglass lenses and improved to 20/70 with the bioptic. There is also a requirement of 150 degrees of peripheral vision (visual field). Once the person obtains the bioptic glasses they must use them daily for 2 months and then return to the low vision doctor for certification that they meet the above requirements.

If you think that you might require this type of license do not wait until the last minute. Call for an appointment 4 or 5 months in advance. That will allow time to have the low vision evaluation, receive the glasses and use them for the required 2 months before your license expires.

Many people have returned to safe driving by using bioptic telescopic glasses. Perhaps you could become one of them.  For more information about help for low vision go to www.VirginiaLowVision.com