Low Vision Services in Athens, Georgia
Our Eye Doctors at Five Points Eye Care will meet with you to evaluate your vision and lifestyle needs thoroughly. After a comprehensive eye exam, we’ll work together with you in our Athens, Georgia Eye Care clinic, to figure out the best strategies and low vision equipment for your personal requirements. We’ll introduce you to a whole range of practical low vision devices that will help restore your ability to see and do the things you love
What is Low Vision?
Low vision is where you have done traditional corrective vision methods such as glasses, contacts, medication or Lasik and are still unable to perform the daily tasks that you desire. You have difficulty with driving, watching TV, writing, recognizing faces or reading the paper. Through our various techniques, medications, aids and adjustments to daily life, you can return to many of your daily activities.
Dr. Jon Forché is the only residency-trained low vision rehabilitation specialist in the Athens area. He consults with several non-profit organizations to provide vision rehabilitation services across the state of Georgia. He travels to Smyrna to the Vision Rehabilitation Services of Northeast Georgia to serve patients in the Atlanta area and to Augusta to see low vision rehabilitation patients referred by the Georgia Department of Labor. He also travels to schools around the state of Georgia to work with visually impaired children. An advocate for the visually impaired, he also gives his time by lecturing on low vision rehabilitation to Lion’s Clubs, the Georgia Council for the Blind, neurological groups and the Department of Labor.
Living with Low Vision
There is always a level of shock when you learn that your vision cannot be corrected. Robbed of your ability to perform daily tasks, you feel hopeless, having trouble with balance and depressed. If that is is the case, we encourage you to seek treatment and counseling. There are ways to cope with these issues. Through the many options of vision aids and rehabilitation, you can return doing many daily functions you did before.
Low Vision Aids
Low vision does not mean you need to give up on daily activities. Through aids such as magnifiers and telescopes you can still maximize your remaining eyesight. There are also various devices that allow you to listen to audiobooks or have your smartphone speak to you. Techniques involve increasing light, reducing glare, and allowing more contrast.
Retinitis Pigmentosa, also known as RP, is an inherited, genetic, eye disease, that causes retinal degeneration. This disease affects one in every four thousand people. RP causes the retina, which is the light-sensing cells in the back of the eye, to deteriorate. The result of this degeneration is the loss of peripheral vision, loss of central vision, night blindness, and sometimes blindness.
Special binocular type instruments can be placed on the glasses to help make out small objects such as street signs, traffic lights, and facial expressions. By placing binoculars on the lenses, it allows these objects to appear closer and become more visible. There are a lot of options on the market, ranging from the E-Scoop glasses to bioptic telescopes. Contact us today to find the best lenses for your needs.
CentraSight/Implantable Miniature Telescope
CentraSight, a tiny device implanted onto one eye to help those with central vision loss from end-stage AMD. The telescope will project images around you onto the healthy, non-degenerated portion of your eye. The other eye will then help with peripheral vision. This telescopic device is only available to those who haven’t had cataract surgery and are of a certain age. Give us a call to discuss if you meet the other various requirements for the implementation of this exciting opportunity.
Driving with Low Vision
The inability to drive can be a major issue of Low Vision. Not being able to make out street signs and traffic lights puts the driver at risk. Bioptics and telescopic glasses can be used to magnify these objects, returning your ability to drive so you can see the grandkids, run your errands, and feel independent again.
Low Vision and Legal Blindness
Low vision is not the same as blindness. Blindness is a total lack of vision. Unfortunately, many people become confused as some people with low vision are classified as “legally blind”. “Legally blind” is actually a legal term which may be applied to someone who still has some usable vision. Most legally blind persons have some usable sight. Many people misuse the term “legally blind”. A legally blind person cannot see a certain size letter on an eye chart even with their glasses or contact lenses on. People who can see well with glasses or contact lenses are NOT legally blind. People with low vision have some sight, unlike a totally blind person. The amount of sight and how it is used varies for each person with low vision.
Age Related Macular Degeneration
The leading cause of vision loss for Americans over the age of 50. You will experience difficulty seeing out of the center of your eye. Broken down into wet and dry AMD, items will be blurry or you will have difficulty seeing in a dim light. Treatments to slow down the progression and improve your lifestyle include specialty lenses, aids, injections, laser therapy, and an implantable miniature telescope from CentraSight.
Those suffering from Diabetes can lead to blindness with extreme low vision issues. Many of the effects are not felt until it is too late. This means it is important to have regular eye exam to detect any issues. Symptoms may include eye floaters, blurred vision, dark spots, flashing lights, and halos by lights. Treatments, depending on stage of development, range from low vision aids, drugs, laser correction, and surgery.
Juvenile Macular Degeneration
Though there is no cure, vision aids and other treatment can help the patient maintain an active lifestyle. Where as AMD is a condition that develops with age, JMD is a result of genetics that affects children and young adults. This too affects central vision and can be broken down into three categories: Stargardts, Best Disease, and Juvenile Retinoschisis. See our full page to find out more details
The “sneak thief of sight”, this lifelong condition has no early symptoms of pain. That is why it is extremely important to have a regular eye exam to detect any warning signs. Various treatments such as drugs or surgery can be done to prevent further vision loss.
This is the most common cause of vision loss in people over 40 and affecting over half of those over 80. Your vision will become cloudy, blurred or dim. Special lenses or aids can help with the loss and ultimately, surgery can be a strong option should vision loss worsen.
The way that we properly see is that our eyes process what is in front of them. Through nerves, it sends that information to the back of the brain which processes it and sends it back to the eyes. This is what vision is. Thus, in order to see well, you need a brain that functions well.
Your Low Vision Doctor in Athens, Georgia, Dr. Jon Forché
Experiencing any of these Low Vision symptoms?
Sensitivity to light | Loss of peripheral vision | Unusual spots or floaters | Blurred vision | Night blindness or a need for more light than before | Difficulty reading | Rehab after vision loss | Macular degeneration | Glaucoma
We can help!