Low Vision Aids

Here at Focus Medical Eye Centre we offer a full low vision aids service. We give support, advice and provision of various low vision aids (LVA’s).

What is low vision?

Low vision or visual impairment is when your sight is poor and cannot be corrected by spectacles or contact lenses. Specifically, low vision is more common in older people. It is also usually associated with eye disease such as Macula Degeneration (AMD).

Low vision is split into two categories. Sight impairment (partially sighted) and severe sight impairment (blind). Only a hospital eye consultant can register you with visual impairment and this will be based on your individual circumstances.

FACT:  In the UK, there are almost 2 million people living with sight loss. Of these, around 360,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted.

low vision aids

What are the symptoms of low vision or sight loss?

  • Colours look a bit washed out
  • You’re finding it difficult to judge the depth of steps or kerbs
  • Straight lines look wobbly (this is a sign of AMD)
  • You find it hard to read, even with glasses or contact lenses
  • Difficulty driving at night

What options do I have with low vision?

A good place to start is to come for a thorough eye examination with us at Focus Medical Eye Centre. Here, we will carry out a thorough assessment to see if we can improve your eyesight with new spectacles or contact lenses. If, however, we cannot improve your sight, we will then run through any surgical or medical interventions that may be able to help you. We could ultimately arrange onward referral to an Ophthalmologist or a specialist low vision clinic if needed.

FACT: Being told you have a visual impairment that can’t be treated can be difficult to come to terms with. Some people go through a process similar to bereavement. Where they experience a range of emotions including shock, anger, and denial. Before eventually coming to accept their condition.

What is a specialist low vision clinic?

This is a service often run by the local eye hospital. Where support is offered in coming to terms with your diagnosis. Where advice is also given about practical things, such as lighting and low vision aids (magnifiers). A low vision assessment will be carried out trying different aids and magnifiers to try and offer practical solutions in an attempt to improve your vision in certain circumstances. Details of support groups will also be made available such as Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

At Focus Medical Eye Centre we will also be able to offer you a Low Vision Assessment with various magnifying aids. Using the latest technology, some of which will not be available at the local hospital low vision clinic.

What are Low Vision Aids?

These are simply various technologies, giving practical solutions to improve your sight. From hand held magnifiers and telescopes through to the latest electronic vision aids. We have a large range of various aids available and will run through how each different type works and may benefit you.

What support groups are available to me?

  • Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
  • The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is the UK’s leading charity for people with vision loss. It has useful information about coming to terms with sight loss.
  • The RNIB’s helpline is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday from 9am to 1pm. The number is 0303 123 9999, with calls costing no more than a standard rate call to an 01 or 02 number. You can also email helpline staff (helpline@rnib.org.uk).
  • The RNIB’s website is specially designed for people with sight loss and provides a wide range of useful information and resources, including an online community and online shop.
  • Macula Society – This is a charity that supports anyone with central vision loss. They provide free information and support and run local support groups. Details are found on their website www.macularsociety.org or calling 0300 3030 111.
  • Local support groups – East Sussex Association for the Blind ( ESAB)
  • The East Sussex Association for the Blind (ESAB) is actually based in Hailsham. They can also offer help, support and vital services to those patients registered blind and partially sighted throughout East Sussex. They can be found at www.eastsussexblind.org or calling 01323 832252.

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