“I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do,” a phrase often heard by the low vision or visually impaired patient. The impairment may be the result of a cataract and in that case, only a matter of time before extraction and replacement with an IOL for vision to be restored. If there are retinal problems (glaucoma, AMD, diabetic retinopathy, other) sharp vision may not be possible; however, there are other options to enhance the continued independence of the person being treated.
In this month’s Pro to Pro, I’d like to continue the discussion from the February column. Since April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety month, low vision is an apt topic to prepare for since more women become low vision or visually impaired patients, in part a function of longer life. Those that are visually impaired have many resources available to them, all starting with an assessment by a low vision specialist (usually an OD) that will spend the time to learn about the patient’s remaining vision and the tools (magnifiers, telescopes, CCTV systems, orientation and mobility training, etc.) that improve independence. For a good overview of options, consider visiting the American Foundation for the Blind website (afb.org). Knowing about low vision resources is good for your patients and for you personally. After all, we, our family and the people around us, are living longer. Issues of good sight can be more visible.
That begs the question: Can vision be even better in single vision lenses? The answer lies in “The Evolution of Single Vision” by Barry Santini, an important CE course in this issue of 20/20. In a very complete discussion you can understand how SV lens materials and treatments interact to deliver the best of lens design with the curve chosen as a front lens design. Then, know how free-form, position of wear and design morphing can personalize each single vision lens to see unlike the lens before it.
Comments or questions—let me know.
• Mark Mattison-Shupnick, ABOM