Low Vision Services
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Low Vision Services

Low Vision Services provides care to patients under the direction of Dr. Karen Squier, Chief of Low Vision Services.

Patients are referred to the care of doctors in this service both from within The Eye Center and from other doctors throughout the Mid-South region. Visual impairment and blindness can affect people of all ages, and the doctors in this service are specifically trained to enhance visual function and empower our patients to seek to improve their quality of life.

Many eye diseases and injuries may cause decreased vision. (https://www.lighthouseguild.org/) Among the most common conditions encountered include macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Genetic diseases such as Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, albinism and retinitis pigmentosa may affect vision at an early age.

Doctors at TEC are specifically trained to provide the highest level of diagnosis and treatment for these conditions. In fact, all of the doctors in this service area are either Fellows or Diplomates in the American Academy of Optometry.

Low Vision Exam

Maximizing The Remaining Vision

When other medical or surgical treatment cannot provide any further improvement or when medical or surgical treatment must be delayed, a low vision examination is recommended. The low vision examination is an in-depth evaluation of the person’s functional use of the remaining vision. The purpose of this evaluation is to prescribe optical and non-optical devices to maximize use of the patient’s residual vision.

Optical devices vary in type from magnifiers and telescopes for seeing at near and distance, to video magnifiers that can magnify print up to 100 times and enhance contrast 100%, enabling the person to read again.

Non-optical devices include items such as talking watches, books on tape, colored filters to reduce glare and other devices aimed at improving activities of daily living. In addition, doctors in the low vision department may refer patients to community partners for in-home rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation (for job or school readiness) as well as orientation and mobility training (to improve independent travel). 

Coupled with the wide variety in types of optical and non-optical devices and extent of vision impairments, it is necessary to perform a special low vision examination to analyze how to maximize visual function and what strategies will best help the person meet their visual needs.