A low vision assessment is appropriate when a patient is still having difficulty with their vision, despite having the best possible spectacle prescription. A patient need not be registered sight impaired, as there are many whose vision is above the level of registration but below that desirable for daily life.
After ensuring the eye condition is understood, the patients level of vision is measured for both distance and near. The patient's living situation and activities are also taken into consideration in order to prioritise their needs. The patient is then introduced to the various low vision aids and demonstrated how they are used. There follows a discussion on what would be most suitable and desirable for the patient in their situation, and finally a decision on what, if any, low vision aids are supplied.
Benefit to patient
By using low vision aids effectively, the patient should be able to perform more visual tasks, and do more for themselves. This in turn gives greater independence, confidence and ultimately greater self-esteem. Apart from a feeling of well-being, the process may mean that a person can continue activities or take up hobbies they had let drop as a result of their visual problems. More importantly, it may mean that a patient can remain a carer for a partner or continue to live alone but as safely as they would wish.