• Therapeutic Cataract & Refractive
  • Lens Technology
  • Glasses
  • Ptosis
  • Comprehensive Eye Exams
  • AMD
  • COVID-19
  • DME
  • Ocular Surface Disease
  • Optic Relief
  • Geographic Atrophy
  • Cornea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Myopia
  • Presbyopia
  • Allergy
  • Nutrition
  • Pediatrics
  • Retina
  • Cataract
  • Contact Lenses
  • Lid and Lash
  • Dry Eye
  • Glaucoma
  • Refractive Surgery
  • Comanagement
  • Blepharitis
  • OCT
  • Patient Care
  • Diabetic Eye Disease
  • Technology

Low-vision care is patient-centered


Effective management of the patient with low vision requires considerably more of an optometrist than the ability to perform a low vision exam.

Effective management of the patient with low vision requires considerably more of an optometrist than the ability to perform a low-vision exam, according to Michael R. Politzer, OD, FAAO, FCOVD.

Dr. Politzer believes that the eye-care professional (ECP) must have a sincere interest in helping elderly patients, understand their need for independence and preserving personal dignity, and be committed to spending the extra time that they require. Likewise, the office and clinical staff need to be empathetic, compassionate, and patient, as well as professionally competent.

Dr. Politzer recommended scheduling patients with low vision on slow clinical days when a full or half day can be devoted to these time-consuming appointments. The office support staff needs to be aware of the additional time required to avoid overbooking.

The first visit, which lasts about an hour and a half, includes the examination, assessment of the patient's needs, recommendations for vision aids, and the opportunity for the patient to try different assistive devices.

"This will be technically more demanding than a regular patient exam, so allow at least 20 to 30 minutes," Dr. Politzer suggested.

A review of the patient's optometric and ophthalmic history and a standard low-vision examination are the starting point for everything that will follow. The low-vision exam should be followed with a comprehensive exam to confirm the diagnosis.

Once the patient's clinical picture is established, the clinician should discuss with the patient the role of assistive devices and pay attention to the lighting environment in achieving his or her vision goals. Engaging the patient is critical at this stage, Dr. Politzer noted.

"I tell patients up-front that I cannot restore their vision, but working together we can make their life more fruitful and successful," he said.

Following the introductory discussion, it is then time to introduce the patient to the appropriate assistive devices. Depending on the patient's diagnosis, you may want to employ prisms to eliminate double vision, filter lenses to manage light and glare issues, or a spot patch to prevent side vision loss.

Related Videos
Raman Bhakhri, OD, FAAO, overviews his talk on medications' potential side effects on the retina with Optometry Times
Jacobi Cleaver, OD, FAAO
Jade Coats, OD, overviews a lecture on ocular pain and patient care
Jade Coats, OD, outlines two poster presentations she gave on a novel lipid-containing eye drop at the AOA Optometry's Meeting
Adam Alexander, OD, chats with Optometry Times about his AOA e-poster presentation on Miebo
Lorraine Provencher, MD, presenting slides
Megan Cavet, PhD
Nazlee Zebardast, MD, MSc, overviews her ARVO 2024 presentations on glaucoma and polygenic risk scores
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.