We have always done our utmost to ensure that people’s vision remains as good as it can be. However, some eye conditions are progressive and can lead to poor vision.
Low vision is when a person’s sight can't necessarily be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Low vision doesn't develop just because of old age. Your vision can get worse as a result of cataracts, age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.
Very few people have complete ‘black’ blindness, so any residual vision (remaining eyesight) needs to be maximised. People come to a clinic hoping that a pair of glasses will fix their vision, but they often can't. Low vision is treated by maximising the patient’s eyesight beyond what glasses or contact lenses can achieve, and managing a patient’s expectations.
You should see your optician regularily and at least every 2 years. However any decline in your sight should be checked by an optician. Signs that you need to seek help include:
Most importantly, do not wait for these signs to appear. They're not just a part of getting older, they're telling you that something is wrong. Certain eye conditions, such as dry age-related macular degeneration, can't be prevented. But apart from these, no one needs to suffer from worsening vision.
The eye care journey often begins with a visit to the optometrist. If a problem is detected, you'll be referred to the hospital to see an ophthalmologist (eye doctor). Your GP will be involved throughout the process, and will provide additional medical information.
If the doctor finds that your vision can't be improved by medical or surgical treatment, you might be referred to us for a low-vision assessment.
A low vision assessment goes far beyond a regular eye examination. A careful assessment is made of your vision, while exploring the effect of increasing the size of the image on the retina. Close attention is also given to the effects of decreased vision on your lifestyle, and a plan is designed to meet your particular needs and goals. A typical low vision examination takes about two hours. At this assessment our optometrist may advise you about lighting and low vision aids and may try different magnifiers to see what works, tailoring to your individual needs.
A low-vision aid can be one of the following:
We stock an extensive range of low vision aids to suit most people.
We can offer our Low Vision services either through the NHS or privately as part of our extended eye examinations and we often take referrals from GPs and other optometrists.