Frequently Asked Questions About Low Vision

Many people have questions before heading to our low vision clinic in Buffalo, NY. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that can help you learn more about low vision and low vision rehabilitation.

Low Vision FAQs

What is low vision?

Low vision is a condition where a person has significant, uncorrectable vision loss that negatively impacts the performance of daily activities. Some eye care professionals consider anyone with 20/70 vision or poorer in their better eye that’s not correctable or improvable with typical eyewear options – such as glasses or contact lenses – as having low vision. However, others simply define it as a loss of visual field or acuity that interferes with daily tasks and isn’t fixable with corrective lenses or surgical interventions.

How can I tell if I have low vision?

Usually, most people with low vision experience a decline in visual acuity or a reduction in the visual field, and those changes are potentially noticeable. However, the best way to determine if you have low vision is to see an eye care provider. Your eye care provider can conduct a formal eye exam to assess your visual field and acuity, as well as determine whether any issues are correctable.

What are the signs of low vision?

  • There are many potential signs of low vision, including difficulty with:
  • Reading
  • Viewing computer, television, or smartphone screens clearly
  • Recognizing faces
  • Distinguishing or seeing objects
  • Identifying or seeing signs
  • Distinguishing colors
  • However, every person is unique, so other signs of low vision or symptoms can occur.

What services do you offer at the low vision clinic?

If you’re looking for low vision services in WNY, VIA offers an array of options to meet the needs of a variety of people. The exact treatment approach varies from one patient to the next, but our team works diligently to help you maximize your vision. This may include lens selection designed to remedy specific visual challenges, guidance on lighting selection, and recommendations for low vision rehabilitation services that promote independence and make daily tasks easier to manage.

Can low vision be treated or cured?

Low vision is a permanent condition, so it can’t be corrected or cured. However, with low vision services and low vision rehabilitation, you’ll learn techniques and strategies that make handling everyday tasks easier and safer.

Will my insurance cover the cost of low vision services and devices?

Insurance can cover the cost of an exam when you go to a low vision clinic in Buffalo, NY. However, insurance does not cover low vision devices. You’ll need to review your coverage to determine exactly what’s covered through your insurer.

What’s the difference between low vision and blindness?

The primary difference between low vision and blindness is that a person with low vision still has the individual has visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200, while a person with blindness has visual acuity no better than 20/200. With low vision and blindness, there may be blurriness, blind spots, or other vision issues, but they do have some ability to see.

What is the difference between a low vision specialist, ophthalmologist, optometrist, and optician?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in eye care, vision, and eye diseases and is licensed to perform ocular surgeries. Optometrists are professionals trained in eye disease diagnosis and treatment, as well as vision assessment, who can prescribe prescription eyewear but aren’t licensed to perform surgeries. Opticians are eye care technicians who can fit and make corrective lenses. Low vision specialists through low vision services in WNY are ophthalmologists or optometrists who’ve undergone specialized training explicitly focused on low vision, giving them additional knowledge to support and treat individuals with the condition.

What’s the difference between blind, visually impaired, and partially sighted?

Blindness involves the full or partial inability to see. Visually impairment is a decline in visual acuity or visual field, and those with it may be referred to as visually impaired or partially sighted. However, partially sighted people usually require special services or treatments, while individuals with visual impairment who aren’t classified as partially sighted may not.

Low Vision Rehab FAQs

What services are typically offered in low vision rehabilitation?

Low vision rehabilitation clinics offer a variety of professional services to help restore function and independence in those with limited visual acuity or visual fields. They may include the introduction and use of a variety of tools, devices, or techniques to help a person handle daily activities, orientation and mobility instruction, and other supportive services.

What is the New York State Commission for the Blind?

The New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) is a state government organization that makes vocational rehabilitation and other services available to New York state residents who are legally blind. The agency focuses on assisting New Yorkers to achieve self-sufficiency and function comfortably in society, with additional emphasis on helping blind residents achieve and maintain gainful employment.

How does the New York State Commission for the Blind help?

The NYSCB helps New Yorkers with blindness by providing access to resources and services that move them toward independence and gainful employment. Through its vocational rehabilitation (VR) program, the NYSCB works with individuals who are blind to develop Individualized Plans for Employment (IPEs), giving them a roadmap to help them achieve their career goals.

Additionally, the NYSCB assists individuals in the VR program by identifying the need for additional services. This can include vocational or job training, access to transportation, low vision exams and devices, braille instruction, and more. The agency also researches the causes of blindness and prevention techniques and treatments.

VIA Is WNY’s Trusted Low Vision Clinic

VIA is a trusted low vision clinic in Buffalo, NY. Our team is highly experienced and expertly trained in low vision diagnosis and treatment, and we’re proud to be the leading center for the visually impaired in the region.

Get in Touch with VIA of WNY Today!

If you’re looking for low vision services in WNY or low vision rehab in Buffalo, our team is ready to help. Contact VIA of WNY to schedule an appointment today!

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