Good vision is a precious gift — and one that’s easy to take for granted.

Imagine for a minute what life would be like if your vision was permanently impaired and could not be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses or vision surgery. This is the situation many people find themselves in every day, suffering from what’s called “low vision.”

Other terms often used to describe people with low vision are “partially sighted,” “visually impaired” and “legally blind.”

Causes of low vision include hereditary conditions, eye injuries and eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Whatever the origin, low vision often causes depression and feelings of isolation and helplessness.

How You Can Help

If you have a friend or family member with low vision or know others in your community who are partially sighted, here are a few ways you can help them maintain their independence and get the most out of their remaining eyesight:

Help them learn about low vision aids. Special optical devices called low vision aids often can enable people to use their remaining vision more effectively and do things they thought were no longer possible.

These devices include customized magnifiers for reading and other near tasks, computerized text-to-speech devices and handheld or spectacle-mounted telescopes for seeing objects in the distance. Many are covered by health insurance.

You can help by arranging a visit to their eye care practitioner to learn which optical aids will provide the most benefit. (If the practitioner doesn’t usually work in low vision, he or she may recommend a low vision specialist in the area.)

A low vision exam is different from a regular eye exam and typically involves follow-up visits to help the person with low vision use the prescribed vision aids effectively.

The practitioner also might suggest non-optical aids to help someone with low vision enjoy life more fully. Examples include audio books, large-print books and other large-print items, such as playing cards, clocks, phones and pillboxes.

Not sure you have low vision? Why not give us a call and have your eyes tested.

Very important: Always make sure you discuss and make decisions about your eye care based upon a formal appointment with your optician.

For more information and to book and eye examination please contact us:

McKenna & Scott Pinelands

Tel: 021 531 1953

pinelands@mckennascott.com