Low-Vision Rehabilitation Programs And The Vision Specialist

Statistics indicate that of those individuals who have useful residual vision 90% would benefit from programs geared towards rehabilitation. A low vision specialist will work with the candidates to find them the optimal low-vision rehabilitation program. This can occupy anywhere between to minimal consultation and outpatient visits to comprehensive six-week programs. During this time, the person will work with any of the following specialists:

 * Certified Low Vision Therapists (CLVTs),
 * Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (CVRTs)
 * Vision Rehabilitation Services

However, the visit for the Minnesota individual starts with a visit to a specialist.

Visiting a Specialist

The first visit begins with an assessment of the problems affecting the individual. The categorization of the problem identified, it is now up to the optometrist – one kind of low vision specialist, to assess and discuss the specifics of the condition affecting the individual’s vision. S/he usually considers:

 * Near and distance vision
 * Refraction
 * Prescription
 * Contrast sensitivity
 * Field loss
 * Glare
 * Lighting needs

Of particular importance is a discussion of what low-vision aids would be suitable. The specialist will recommend what the individual needs to take home for trial purposes. This is one component of the rehabilitation process in any Minnesota program. The others are education and training.

Rehabilitation and a Vision Specialist

Rehabilitation involves providing the individual with available and appropriate low-vision services. It is a cooperative effort aimed at improving the low vision person’s quality of life (QOL). Research indicates that those who do accept and become involved in low-vision rehabilitation programs demonstrate better emotional well-being than those who do not utilize the services.

In Minnesota, an aging population will increase the number of people who will suffer from low vision. Such impairment need not degrade the QOL of these individuals. By talking to a low vision specialist and entering a thorough low-vision rehabilitation program, it is possible to take back some of the aspects of life many vision impaired individuals are afraid are lost forever.

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