About Low Vision

Low vision is not the same as blindness. A person with low vision has some useful sight but has difficulty with the performance of daily activities. Conventional glasses do not provide sufficient vision for reading, watching TV, using a computor, driving and other visual activities. Many eye conditions cause low vision. A low vision optometrist, like Dr. Armstrong, is often able to prescribe special telescopic or microscopic glasses to magnify what is seen. People who have been told that they are legally blind can often be helped. Dr. Armstrong prefers to prescribe the magnification in glasses so both hands are free. Your doctor may have told you that nothing can be done to help you.The doctor is correct. Nothing can be done to cure conditions causing low vision. However, a low vision doctor can evaluate the remaining vision and prescribe microscopic or telescopic eyeglasses which maximize the available vision. Low vision glasses are prescribed to meet the needs of each person so the costs vary. Usually low vision glasses for reading cost about $850. Telescopic glasses for driving or distance vision cost around $2000. Medicare, supplemental and other insurances may pay part of the low vision evaluation but not the low vision glasses.



Free Telephone Consultation

Call Dr. Armstrong toll free 866 321-2030 for a free telephone consultation. Dr. Armstrong will ask you questions to determine if low vision glasses will help you. The appointment will be made only if Dr. Armstrong feels that he will be able to help you achieve your goals.

Dr Armstrong sees low vision patients in Roanoke, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Wytheville, Virginia.

For more information visit: http://www.virginialowvision.com/

on Facebook @ Virginia Low Vision Optometrist, Dr. David L. Armstrong


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

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