Glaucoma is the leading causes of blindness in the world. The condition damages the optic nerve and has few or no symptoms.
The most frustrating part for our patients at Low Vision Of New York is the loss of independence and normalcy to do common daily tasks in their lives. Tasks such as driving especially at night or in glare; reading, cooking, playing cards; walking safely or even reading the menu at their favorite restaurant, are no longer possible.
There are two types of glaucoma
One is open-angle glaucoma that occurs when the eye’s drainage canals clog over time causing a rise in the inner eye pressure as the correct amount of fluid is not drained out. Here, at the entrance, the drainage canals are clear and should be working normally. It's at the inside of the drainage canals that the clogging occurs, causing vision problems.
The other type of glaucoma is the angle-closure/acute glaucoma where the eye pressure goes up suddenly. It occurs when the drainage canals get blocked or covered.
In either case, when the pressure in the inner eye rises to extreme levels, the pressure may ultimately cause damage to the optic nerve at the back of the eye. As the disease progresses the field of view narrows. The condition is painless and thus, many patients rarely recognize they have it until much of their vision is gone. Unfortunately, in this case, treatments only prevent further loss of vision as opposed to bringing back vision.
Solutions For Persons With Low Vision Due To Glaucoma
Glaucoma may be treated with special eye drops, medications or even surgery, however, there is no cure and vision loss from Glaucoma is usually irreversible. The goal of the Ophthalmologist for a Glaucoma patient is to reduce the risk of further vision loss, and to that end, it is crucial that a Glaucoma patient follows takes their medications as prescribed.
Fortunately for you, our Low Vision Optometrist has a selection of visual aids that can help with using the remaining vision and improving quality of life and independence for those with glaucoma. The goal of our low vision services is to maximize the patient’s ability to function optimally with the remaining vision. We offer our patients a wide variety of options such as low vision rehabilitation and low vision aids.
Low Vision Aids
We have a wide selection of low vision aids that can help our patients regain their normalcy and independence in their lives. They include
Including specialty reading glasses, hand-held & stand magnifiers, Escoops, and microscopes. They help glaucoma patients perform up close tasks such as reading, writing or looking at near objects such as maps and pictures.
Hand-held/monocular for a quick view of distant objects such as road signs are widely available but are limited in application due to the need for holding it steady for long periods of time. Mounted telescopes for hands-free use offer a significant benefit to handhelds for extended time periods tasks. A popular example is the bioptic telescopes which are mounted on your regular pair of glasses for an easy alternation of normal view to magnified.
Include electronic aids such as CCTV systems which provide magnification better than the aids mentioned above. There are the less portable and portable types. They allow the glaucoma patient to adjust the brightness, contrast, and size of a magnified image to match their visual needs. The individual can have white writing on a black background for a lower glare.
Computer monitors come in varying sizes to fit the magnifying needs of the user and certain software such as ZoomText allow for magnification, contrast, and color changes to fit your needs.