Is there such a thing as a “typical” day in low vision care?

Is there such a thing as a typical day of low vision care?

When caring for the functional vision wants and needs of patients who are partially-sighted and legally blind, it takes knowledge, expertise, and experience. Simply having a technician hand a patient different magnifiers, filters, and the like just doesn’t cut it in my opinion.

Come with me in the video and visit with a couple of patients who are thrilled as they pick up the glasses we chose together in order to help them see and function better!

The first young man has a very limited field of vision (traumatic brain injury, TBI) and he particularly wanted help in seeing downward for mobility purposes. The second patient needed to see details at a distance more clearly secondary to having 20/100 vision from macular degeneration.

Thanks for reading and watching.  Give us a call if you have any questions or would like to schedule a low vision evaluation.

Meet Holly, our newest low vision technician!

Introducing our newest Midwest Low Vision employee, Holly! 👋
Casey has been working closely with Holly as she will be taking over as Dr. Jarrod’s Low Vision Technician (don’t worry, Casey’s not going anywhere!).  Holly started her career in Optometry in 2006 and has held many roles in the field since then.
In 2013, Holly was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, which is a retinal disease similar to Macular Degeneration & results in a loss of central vision. Since then, Holly has developed a great passion for helping those with Low Vision.  She has volunteered for The Foundation Fighting Blindness & assists with their annual Vision Walk each year.  When Holly isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, 3 children & their dog. She looks forward to meeting and working with all of our wonderful patients! 💙👁

Holly, Midwest Low Vision new Low Vision Technician
Holly, Midwest Low Vision’s new low vision technician!

Maximally Effective Low Vision Care

Practicing maximally effective low vision care requires open-minded empathy coupled with knowledge and creativity.
To be maximally effective I feel that you need to be able to “put yourself in the patient’s shoes” to the fullest extent that you are able.
THEN, you must have done your homework and have the experience to know what is available that might be able to meet their needs.
FINALLY…(and this is the fun part!)…you must “think outside the box” and ask yourself if there might be a better way to solve this patient’s particular problem(s).

— Dr. Jarrod Long

Midwest Low Vision Office Tour, May 2021

Come along with Dr. Long on an office tour!

We’ll start outside and work through the low vision patient experience from the patient’s perspective.  Dr. Long narrates and explains various details and expectations of the visit.

Every day we see patients who need the various glasses and devices described in the video, such as bioptics and bioptic telescopic glasses.

 

Bioptics and Reading Telescopic Glasses for Low Vision from Presumed Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome.

July 13, 2005 (I checked his chart), I remember examining my buddy, Dave, near the end of the day. He complained of blurred and distorted vision in one eye.

As doctors, through careful questioning, about 90% of the time we know, or think we know, what’s going on before we ever examine the patient. I knew my buddy had Idiopathic Central Serous Chorioretinopathy (ICSC). I had seen it before in another friend.

me: “Dave, I think I know what’s going on. Any extra stress in your life lately?”
Dave: “I’m not sure, not really…”
me: “Well anyway, I think I know what’s going on, but let’s get you dilated and take a look.”

Dave had active inflammation in one macula and suspicious lesions in the other. However, he did not have ICSC. The diagnosis was easy once I looked…he had Presumed Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome (POHS).

Dave’s story sticks in my mind because I was near tears when I gave him my diagnosis. I referred him to a retinal specialist and I knew that he would get laser treatment and would eventually be one of my low vision patients. But his case also sticks in my mind because there was something I didn’t know…

Rather than using a laser, the retinal specialist reported that he had injected a new cancer medication, Avastin, into Dave’s eye. Whaaat???!!! How would this help save his vision? Of course, now we know. His vision did improve and, despite eventually needing injections in both eyes, he still has good vision to this day. Amazing.

I believe there is a corollary here with low vision care:

There are new and unimaginable ways to help patients see better or even use other senses to complement poor vision. There are also often ways to acquire funding for expensive devices and to overcome other perceived obstacles.

If not me, seek another effective low vision provider via a Google search or other means. Low vision referral is the Standard of Care for good reason — there just might be some things that you didn’t know that you didn’t know.

Playing Cards with Low Vision

In the linked video, Dr. Long explains options and considerations for low vision patients to enjoy playing cards.

Click on the photo to take a look!

dogs shown playing cards with appropriate, direct lighting to aid with low vision
Direct, near, focused lighting on the cards played on the table and the cards in the hand (paw).

Sophie! New glasses and contact lenses for aphakia.

Due to eye complications from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Sophie needed cataract surgery but was unable to have implants.  The condition on not having a natural lens is called aphakia and it requires a patient to have strong glasses or contact lenses.  Take a look at Sophie’s reaction to receiving new glasses with high-tech, super-modular lenses and her reaction to having comfortable soft contact lenses.

Prescribing Special Glasses for Low Vision Patients

Hello, Dr. Long here sharing three low vision patient cases.

First we have Bobby who is partially-sighted secondary to trauma and ocular histoplasmosis and he is updating his bioptic driver’s licensure.

Second is De’Vante who has optic neuropathy and sees 20/120 with each eye. He wants to become a bioptic driver, be able to read, recognize faces, see fast food menus, and many other things.

Finally, Lonnie has diabetic retinopathy and neovascular glaucoma and I explain more about his condition and goals in the final segment of the video.

 

“Ugly” glasses and a quick tour of a mobile low vision examination room.

Here, in this two minute video, we feature three patients receiving their glasses and a tour of Dr. Long’s current office in Clarksville, Indiana.

The first gentlemen you see has seen Dr. Long for low vision care for many years now.  He has not needed telescopic glasses until now and seems to be pretty excited about the help the bioptic style will afford him.

The second patient has fixed, dilated pupils and is extremely sensitive to light.  Additionally, he is legally blind and needs both the tint and the magnification that comes with his prescription bioptic glasses and reading telescopic glasses.

Finally, the end of the video features a patient who was seen being evaluated in a previous video who is now picking up her Side Vision Awareness Glasses and being trained by our low vision technician, Casey.

Enjoy!