Where Can I Find A Low Vision Doctor?
- Reading your favorite books is difficult.
- You squint a lot while watching TV.
- When friends or family come to visit, you find it hard to clearly see their faces.
- Driving is hard because the street signs, exit ramps, and other cars seem blurry.
Does this sound familiar? If you’ve experienced any of these situations, then you know how difficult it has become to do the daily tasks you used to enjoy. Whether your vision loss is a result of an injury, genetic condition, or eye disease, getting the right kind of eyecare is essential.
I Have An Eye Doctor. Why Do I Need A Low Vision Doctor?
Low vision care is about more than just glasses or contacts for better eyesight. It’s about a thorough understanding of your lifestyle and what’s important to you, and optimizing your remaining vision so you can get back to doing what you love.
While your regular eye doctor can give you general vision care and prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, a low vision doctor looks at the whole picture. Their goal is to slow down the progression of vision loss and provide you with the right devices and glasses to enhance your remaining vision.
How Do I Find A Low Vision Doctor?
The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) has a network of low vision doctors who are located all over the US and Canada. That means there is a low vision eye doctor who treats patients in your area, so you won’t have to go very far to receive top-quality care.
Our doctors undergo special training and have access to the latest research and technologies for low vision care. IALVS doctors are ready to help you live your best life, even with vision loss. Check out the complete doctor directory online.
How Quickly Will My Visual Activity Improve?
Treating your low vision is about giving you the right tools to maximize your vision for the everyday kinds of activities you enjoy. How quickly your visual activity will improve depends on how much loss of visual acuity you have and how quickly you see a low vision eye doctor.
It’s so important to see a low vision doctor as soon as possible. If you find that cooking isn’t as easy as it used to be, watching a movie gives you a headache, or reading a newspaper causes your eyes to feel tired, it’s time to talk to a low vision eye doctor. The sooner you seek treatment, the quicker we can give you the support you need.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any signs of vision loss – even mild ones – schedule an appointment with one of our low vision doctors.
Even if you’ve been told by another doctor that there’s nothing else to do, don’t give up hope. Talk to an IALVS low vision doctor – we can help you stay independent and live your life with the best vision possible.
When To Contact A Low Vision Doctor: When You Can’t See To Do What You Want To Do
When you break your leg, you feel the pain of the fracture and visit a doctor to repair the broken limb. When you hurt your back, you go to a chiropractor to relieve the intense pain. But what happens when you experience vision loss without even noticing it? How do you know when to visit a low vision doctor if you don’t feel any pain?
What Are the Common Symptoms of Vision Loss?
Some signs of vision loss often go unnoticed until the symptoms are far along. Signs of vision loss typically include the following:
- Blurry vision
- Cloudy vision
- Decreased peripheral (side) vision
- Difficulty seeing clearly at night
- Frequent headaches
- Reduced central vision (what you see straight ahead)
- Seeing halos around lights
- Sensitivity to light
Especially in its earlier stages, certain signs of low vision can easily be attributed to other things. Frequent headaches can be triggered by stress or excessive computer use, light sensitivity can develop from migraines, anxiety, or certain medications, and even blurry vision may be the result of an eye infection, exhaustion, or dehydration.
When Low Vision Becomes Serious
So how can you know when your symptoms are serious? One way to know is by paying attention to how changes in vision affect your daily life. If driving at night becomes increasingly difficult, if you notice that headaches are becoming persistent, or if reading or watching TV isn’t enjoyable because the images are unclear, it may be more than just a temporary symptom.
Low vision is a significant visual impairment, which isn’t corrected by simply wearing glasses or contact lenses. It not only impacts your everyday activities, but can cause long-term vision loss – even blindness, if left untreated – so if doing what you love is becoming hard because of poor vision, it’s time to visit a low vision doctor.
How Does A Low Vision Doctor Help?
A low vision doctor focuses on maximizing your remaining vision to help you continue doing what you enjoy. Dr. Steven Schoenbart does this with the help of low vision glasses and devices. These tools magnify images, allowing you to see details for sharp, clear vision.
If vision loss makes it hard for you to read your favorite book or a restaurant menu, microscope glasses can help. They enlarge the text so you can enjoy reading once again. Have fun dining out with friends without asking for help reading the menu. It’s all about living an independent life in the best way possible!
When it comes to the people closest to you, there’s nothing more painful than being unable to recognize them. Low vision can make it hard to recognize faces, so when your grandchildren come to visit, of course, you want to see their smiling faces in detail. Low Vision Of New York can help you with that by providing you with the right low vision devices.
If you love the freedom and independence that driving offers, vision loss can make that difficult. Your low vision optometrist can fit you for bioptic telescope glasses. These devices magnify objects like street signs and traffic lights. These elements of your environment appear sharper, so you can see them clearly and can continue driving safely, even while driving at night.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any symptoms of vision loss, schedule a visit with Low Vision Of New York. Dr. Steven Schoenbart will perform a thorough eye exam and talk to you about how to maximize your remaining vision to help you continue doing the things you want to do, for the best quality of life.
Why AMD Patients Need 2 Doctors
Central vision is an important element of your overall vision, allowing you to see images and objects as you look straight ahead. This function affects your ability to read books, drive a car, watch TV, or recognize faces of the people you love. For patients with Macular Degeneration, these everyday functions become difficult.
Treatment For Age-Related Macular Degeneration
While there is no cure for AMD, there are some things you can do – together with your doctors – to stop the disease from deteriorating further and prevent total blindness.
For the most effective treatment, patients should visit 2 doctors: one to treat the medical condition itself and one to manage the patient’s vision.
Why 2 Doctors?
Since Age-Related Macular Degeneration is an eye disease, visiting a medical doctor is necessary. Just like going to your family doctor for an illness or injury, proper medical care for your eyes is critical. One doctor treats the medical condition by preventing AMD from worsening, while a Low Vision doctor enhances the patient’s remaining vision.
What Medical Care Involves
Medical care from your eye doctor typically includes monitoring your blood pressure, since high BP can negatively impact the many blood vessels in the eye. Your doctor can also help you quit smoking. This is important because smoking increases the risk of developing AMD between 2-5 times!
Improving your diet is something your doctor can assist with, as well. Foods rich in zinc and antioxidants have been shown to protect against and slow down the progression of AMD. Daily nutritional supplements are known to aid in slowing down the disease. Look for those which include high amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Zinc, and Copper.
For more severe cases of AMD, the doctor may suggest treatments such as laser surgery, injecting light-sensitive dyes, or AMD medication, which is injected directly into the eye. These options can suppress the growth of abnormal blood vessels, which is what causes the wet form of Macular Degeneration to develop.
What Low Vision Care Involves
A Low Vision doctor helps optimize your remaining vision with devices like magnifiers and telescopes. These aids can enlarge images so that you can see them in greater detail. Some aids are placed on special glasses to allow you to drive, read, write, or use a computer with sharper, clearer vision. Others can magnify images in your direct line of vision, allowing you to recognize facial details with clarity.
Dr. Steven Schoenbart’s goal is to use your remaining vision to enable you to do the things you enjoy. If AMD makes it difficult for you to read books, drive to shop or run errands, enjoy screen time on your computer or smartphone, and spend time with friends or family, we can help. The staff at Low Vision Of New York can recommend the best visual aids and devices for you.
Patients may show signs of AMD without even knowing it, until more noticeable symptoms develop, such as deteriorating vision.
The most frequent signs of AMD include:
- Blind spots
- Blurry or cloudy vision
- Distorted images
- Fuzzy-looking vision
- Shadows or dark spots on an image or object
If you or a loved is showing any of these signs – even in mild form – speak to Dr. Steven Schoenbart immediately. The earlier AMD is diagnosed, the sooner it can be managed.
If you have any questions or concerns, speak with our staff at Low Vision Of New York and schedule a consultation. Let us help enhance your central vision and help you find the best way to enjoy a better quality of life.
You’ve got Low Vision and you need some ways of minimizing the effects on your daily activities. One of the best ways to do this is with lighting. Changing the lighting in your home or office can make a significant, positive impact on your functional vision.
Check out Dr. Steven Schoenbart's tips for making life with Low Vision more manageable.
Home Is Where the Light Is
Home may be where the heart is, but the lighting is pretty important, too. You may have fixtures that are elegant and classy, fun and colorful, or basic and functional. But no matter how they look on the outside, the bulbs inside are central to how you spend your days and nights.
Using brighter bulbs can give you better vision clarity, so that you can easily maneuver around the things in your home. Using dimmer bulbs may help prevent uncomfortable reactions to strong lights and glare, or simply make it easier to recognize the faces of the people around you.
What's Your Type?
Thanks to advancements in technology and interior design, there are various types of lighting to choose from without compromising on style, décor, or functionality
Let’s briefly review the 4 most common types of light bulbs:
Incandescent: Although close to natural sunlight, this type of light tends to be concentrated on a few areas, leaving others in a bit of shadow or glare. It is also no longer mass produced since the mid-2000's when more energy efficient bulbs hit the market.
Halogen: A type of incandescent bulb that is more energy efficient with a longer life. It provides a strong light with great illumination in a room and is best for viewing contrast between objects, images, and surroundings.
Fluorescent: A happy combination of brightness and safety, these bulbs are manufactured in a variety of brightness levels and colors. They are used in both commercial and residential spaces and in the outdoors and indoors, so they offer a lot of versatility.
LEDs: Perhaps the most popular type of lighting due to its many applications, Light-Emitting Diodes (or LEDs, for short) are the most energy
efficient and longest-lasting bulbs on the market. They are best used for when you need light concentrated on a certain spot for a specific function or task. They also come in a variety of colors and designs.
In addition to choosing the right light bulbs, it’s important to understand the difference between lux, lumens, wattage, and CRI (Color Rendering Index). That’s because they can have a big impact on the quality of life for people with vision difficulties Lux is a way of measuring how intense a light is, also known as ‘illumination’. For example, a typical living room probably has 50 lux, while a grocery store or shopping mall may have closer to 750 lux. Lumen means how much light is emitted from a particular lighting source. The higher the lumen, the brighter the light. Wattage is the amount of energy that a product consumes, similar to a mobile phone battery’s usage.
Color Rendering Index, or CRI, is how a lighting source displays color when compared to natural light. So you may see something in
the sunlight that looks dark green, while in artificial light, it may appear a much brighter shade of green.
Both Lux and CRI are the most important factors for your lighting needs because they affect how you see the world.
Keep Doing What You Love
With Macular Degeneration and other eye diseases, it’s essential to use different kinds of lighting for the things you do every day, like reading, writing, watching TV, going online, shopping, or cooking. Bright lights may work best for doing housework, while low lights may be the most comfortable for reading or watching TV.
Dr. Steven Schoenbart will be happy to recommend the light bulbs that are the most comfortable for doing the things you love.
Timing Is Everything
Day or night can make a huge difference in your Low Vision lighting needs. For example, putting your living room lights on a timer so that the lights go on in the evenings and off before going to sleep makes your life just a little bit easier. Automatic dimmers let you control the brightness of lights, while smart sensors or motion-detectors can turn on or off simply by walking near them.
Maybe It's The Lamp
When you need light to view something close up, try using a swivel lamp. It lets you move the light exactly where you’d like it to be. Flexible floor lamps give the right amount of illumination without causing eye strain or headaches, especially helpful for Glaucoma patients. Special Low Vision lamps let you control magnification, position, or even the color of the light, from a soft yellowish white to a brighter pure white.
Mimic The Sun
Natural sunlight can be either beneficial or harmful for Low Vision patients, depending on how mild or severe their case may be. For some, sunlight
can be helpful when reading a book or writing. For those with sensitivity to light, the brightness can cause a glare or pain. In these cases, patients should use lamps that simulate sunlight, without the harmful side effects.
Don't Leave Home Without It
It’s a fast-paced world out there. Take your lighting devices with you! A small pen light can help you read a menu in a dark restaurant, find your keys in a parking garage, or open the door when coming home at night. Even in brighter light, a handheld lighting device can give you a small, focused light wherever and whenever you need it most.
Distance Makes The Light Grow Fonder
Many Low Vision patients have trouble with distance vision. Viewing an image or object from a distance is just as important as the level of brightness in the room. That’s why it’s necessary to use Low Vision lighting tools that are completely adjustable so they aren’t placed at a fixed distance. Being able to move the neck of a desk lamp, for instance, makes it easier to see a book or photo with greater clarity.
Go ahead and try these lighting tips to help your day-to-day functioning with Low Vision. Dr. Steven Schoenbart can tell you where to buy these kinds of light bulbs and devices. If you have any questions or concerns, speak with our staff at Low Vision Of New York and we’ll be glad to help.
Trouble Seeing Your Grandkids' Faces?
Low Vision Devices Can Help
Are you frustrated that your poor vision is it getting in the way of life?
Is it hard to do simple things, such as seeing your adorable grandchildren's faces
You’re not alone. Many people develop vision problems later in life, which can be difficult and overwhelming. Your vision problems may become so severe that you become dependent on those around you to perform simple tasks. For those who are accustomed to an active and independent life, this is very challenging.
However, there’s no need to suffer. Our eye clinic carries low vision devices to help you see again.
What Is Low Vision?
Low vision generally refers to vision impairment that can’t be corrected fully with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, medications, or surgical procedures. Low vision means significant vision loss, but does not include complete blindness.
People that have low vision are often classified into two groups: partially sighted and legally blind. Those that are considered partially sighted have visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200 with the aid of corrective lenses. Those that are considered legally blind have visual acuity that is no better than 20/200 with regular corrective lenses.
What Are The Causes Of Low Vision?
The major culprits of low vision problems are age-related retinal conditions. Cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, cancer of the eye, stroke, eye injury or trauma, albinism, or brain injury can cause low vision.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Vision?
Possible symptoms include blurred or hazy vision, night blindness, loss of central vision, and loss of peripheral vision.
What To Do Now
Low vision eye diseases such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, while not completely curable, can be treated by our experts. Our low vision doctors have the latest technologies, low vision aids, and glasses to help you see again. Inexpensive optical and non-optical aids, as well as electronic and digital magnifiers, can be extremely effective in treating low vision.
Having trouble seeing your grandkids can be a tough and painful experience. We can help! Contact us today at to see how we can help you regain your independence and start living life to the fullest. Our low vision center offers patients low vision aids and glasses that will improve your vision and give you healthy and happy eyes.