What does it mean to have Low Vision?
Low vision is defined as insufficient vision to be able to do the things you want to do. 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.
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.
To determine if you suffer from low vision, a low vision rehabilitation evaluation must first be performed. Dr. Jon Forché uses special examination techniques and prescribes special lenses and low vision aids based specifically on the needs of the patient. Persons suffering from glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal diseases, optic nerve diseases, and vision loss from head trauma all may benefit from a low vision rehabilitation evaluation.