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Low vision is a condition in which vision cannot be corrected by glasses, contacts, surgery or medicine. These patients are generally best-corrected to 20/40 or worse, meaning that even with the best glasses correction, the smallest line on the letter chart they can read is 20/40. Low vision is a broad term that describes reduced abilities among many aspects of visual perception –some patients have loss of central vision, loss of side vision, general haze, light sensitivity, poor night vision, or general blur. As our most precious of senses, vision loss can impact a patient’s job, hobbies, independence, and happiness. While no magic cure for vision impairment exists, low vision care offers patients the opportunity to explore new ways of using their eyes to accomplish their visual goals. Many of Vista Eye Care’s low vision patients are able to lead near-normal lives, reading, paying their bills, painting, watching television, and even driving after they believed these things were not possible.


Causes of Low Vision

  • Dr. Brian Abert works with a low vision patient to help her better read her newspaper and magazines.A low vision device is used to magnify newsprint to a much larger, readable level.Macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Amblyopia
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Glaucoma
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Retinopathy of prematurity
  • Ocular albinism
  • Stargardt’s maculopathy
  • Ocular trauma

The first step in our low vision work-up is to determine the health status of the eyes. If you are referred from an outside eye care practitioner, please be sure to bring in a complete copy of your medical eye record. It is important to be sure that the eye disease that caused your sight loss be managed to prevent any further loss if at all possible. Once your eye health management plan has been established, we can focus on your visual goals. Low vision is about comfort, contrast, and magnification, and your best results can be achieved if we focus on one of those goals at a time. For example, the visual goals of watching television and reading a book require very different low vision devices for very different distances, different lighting conditions, and different levels of required detail.


Example Visual Goals

  • An Eschenbach electronic magnifier is used to read a newspaper.A lighted stand magnifier is used to read the weather report in the newspaper.Riding the bus
  • Reading a book or newspaper
  • Driving to the supermarket
  • Reading the mail
  • Signing a check
  • Playing cards
  • Recognizing faces
  • Watching television

There are a wide variety of low vision devices that can be used to help you achieve your visual goals. We will work together to test these devices in order to determine what will work best for your specific needs. Low vision care involves establishing good lighting (in order to achieve ideal contrast) and adjusting magnification. Ways to achieve this include hand-held magnifiers, stand magnifiers, spectacle magnifiers, telescopic vision aids, video magnifiers, and more. Vista Eye Care maintains a stock of various low vision devices, and often times we will even order-in special devices to meet patients’ specific needs.

After we determine the ideal device for a visual goal, we will work with the patient to train them on how to use their new device. Once the patient is comfortable using the device, they will use it in their own home or workplace before returning to our office for a follow-up visit. At this follow-up appointment, we can work together to iron out any details of the device’s use and answer any questions the patient might have.


Get Started!

For those patients that were referred to our practice, we will send a thorough report to the referring physician. Typically, a low vision examination should be performed every year or two, though if a patient has a new hobby or work requirement that creates updated visual goals, we can always work with that patient sooner.

Please call our office today at (303) 450-2020 to schedule a low vision examination for yourself or for your loved one, or use the button below to schedule online. Remember that before you come in for your visit, be sure to forward a copy of your medical records to our office (our fax number is (303) 920-1440), and be sure to bring any low vision aids that you have used.

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Vista Eye Care

13695 Colorado Blvd. Thornton, CO 80602
Phone: (303) 450-2020
Fax: (303) 920-1440

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