MACULAR DEGENERATION AWARENESS BLOG
February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness Month. According to the CNIB, there are more than 5.5 million Canadians with a major eye disease that could contribute to vision loss. The four most common causes are: macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts.
What is "Low Vision"?
Low vision and visual impairment refers to vision loss that affects the daily activities of a patient’s life. A patient does not need to be legally blind to have visual impairment. There are a number of tools and resources available for patients that have reduced vision which are aimed at making daily tasks easier. If you or a loved one has any visual impairment, a low vision evaluation may be beneficial.
A low vision evaluation includes an extensive history, determining activities that are difficult because of vision loss (including grooming, cooking/ seeing dials on the stove, laundry, chores, etc.), identifying hobbies (reading, watching television, crochet, playing cards, etc.), and evaluating other components of the visual system (including glare, contrast sensitivity, visual field defects, etc). After determining a patient’s goals, various magnifiers, telescopes, and other devices are trialed. With the advent of new technology, there are plenty of options and apps that can be used to improve the quality of life for the low vision patient.
How to Get a Low Vision Evaluation
The CNIB and Vision Loss Rehabilitation Saskatchewan partners with the Southern Saskatchewan Low Vision Clinic at the Pasqua Hospital. You can ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist for a referral to the low vision clinic to see Dr. Maierhoffer. Low vision evaluations, with a referral from an eye care professional, are completely covered by SK health.
Prevention is key!
When it comes to preventing vision loss, routine eye exams are key. Early diagnosis and routine monitoring will help ensure stability with your visual impairment. In order to keep your eyes healthy, routine eye exam will screen for the major causes of visual impairment. Individuals with healthy eyes should be seen at least every 2 years by their optometrist. Individuals with visual impairment or ocular disease, should be seen at least yearly (by their ophthalmologist or optometrist).
In need of an eye exam? Call today to book an appointment: 306-719-2020.
What is Low Vision: http://whatislowvision.org/2016/02/
CNIB Facts About Low Vision: http://www.cnib.ca/en/about/media/vision-loss/Pages/default.aspx
American Academy of Ophthalmology: https://www.aao.org/newsroom/observances
1705 Park Street ● Regina, SK. ● S4N 2G3
Phone: 306-719-2020 ● Fax: 306-719-2021