What is Low vision?
Low vision is a condition characterised by level of vision that is 20/70 or worse and that cannot be fully corrected with medical treatment, surgery, or conventional glasses. Unlike total blindness, most individuals with low vision have some useful sight. But, as vision deteriorates, those affected often find it difficult to accomplish the tasks of everyday life such as reading, recognizing faces, cooking, driving, and differentiating color. In most cases, the low vision makes patient unable to live a normal and independent life.
Children and adults can have low vision at any stage in life. Most people develop low vision as a result of eye conditions and diseases, including congenital eye diseases, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, and trauma. Some causes of low vision, such as cataracts, are treatable and good vision can be restored. When diagnosed early, other conditions that lead to low vision, such as wet macular degeneration and glaucoma, can be halted or slowed - although vision lost is irreversible.
Low vision centre at AL-SHIFA TRUST EYE HOSPITAL:
A low vision center was established in Alshifa trust eye hospital in 1993 which has now become a strong and most efficient low vision service provider not only for the twin cities but also for the whole country.
Mehreen tanveer (Light House Manager)
Low vision aids available in low vision clinic:
Almost all types of low vision aids (both for distance and near work) are available in low vision clinic including magnifiers of all types(hand held, foldable, stand, illuminated) and telescopes(monocular ,binoculars, spectacle mounted.
These aids are provided to patients at very low and affordable cost.About 250-300 devices are being dispensed to the patients every year. Some devices are also manufactured in Alshifa low vision workshop.
“Light house , a strong voice for visually impaired people for their full inclusion into the mainstream society”
Many other softwares, i.e JAWS,DRAGON are also available
Guidance for appropriate education:
Orientation and mobility training:
People who have visual impairment are trained to move independently both indoors and outdoors with a sighted guide and cane.
Daily household task training to patients:
Patients who are unable to do daily tasks like cooking, sewing, cleaning ,washing etc are trained how to cope with these
Self grooming corner is also available which help Visually impaired people get guidance in personal skills like matching of colour clothes, putting on make up, shaving, bathing etc.
Saddam khan, a 23 year old boy was feeling hopeless when he came to low vision clinic at Al-Shifa trust eye hospital. He was suffering from retinitis pigmentosa. He was severely handicapped and unable to study because of highly impaired vision. Low vision assessment and management was done and he was provided with telescope and magnifier. The Low vision aids benefitted him so much that he is studying in college now. According to the patient himself, “I have seen a world, I never saw before.”