Three Questions Seniors Might Have About Low Vision Exams


Seniors are at especially high risk for vision impairment. In fact, 6.5 million Americans over the age of 65 have some sort of severe vision loss, with this number expecting to double by the year 2030. Common eye disorders suffered by seniors include age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and cataracts. All of these conditions are known to cause some sort of vision impairment. Low vision exams are crucial for seniors who have decreased vision. Here are three questions they might have about this type of exam.

What Is a Low Vision Exam?

The first thing seniors need to realize is that low vision exams are different than regular eye exams. This is why they should see an eye care professional who specializes in ophthalmology. These types of eye doctors have more training for diagnosing and treating eye disorders.

Some of the tests included in a low vision exam include: 

  • The Amsler Grid test, which can help diagnose macular degeneration
  • Reading a specialized low vision chart to determine clarity of near and distant vision
  • Visual field testing to determine the amount of peripheral vision
  • Pupil dilation and an optical coherence tomography

The eye doctor will ask when the vision problems began and how their poor vision affects daily activities such as reading, driving, and watching television.

What Preparations Should Be Made Prior to a Low Vision Exam?

There is no right way to prepare for a low vision exam. It does help, however, to be aware of when vision problems began. It is also very helpful for seniors to write down any questions they might have and bring it with them to their appointment. Some good questions to ask include:

  • Does this eye disease have a name?
  • Are there ways to protect the remaining vision?
  • Are there special services available due to vision loss?

It's important for seniors to understand the answers to these questions to help them make the most out of their treatment options.

What Treatment Options Are Available for Decreased Vision?

In many cases, decreased vision is treatable. Following a low vision exam, treatment options will be addressed. Some examples of different types of treatment for decreased vision include:

  • Eye surgery
  • Prescription medicine
  • Low vision aids including magnifiers and telescopic systems
  • Low vision rehabilitation
  • Reading materials with larger print

Some seniors get scared when their vision decreases because they fear the worst. The earlier their low vision gets diagnosed, however, the earlier they can begin treatment. This will also give them the best chance for longer lasting vision. Click here to learn more about opthamology.


11 May 2016

Vision and Learning

Vision problems can be sneaky. When my daughter started having trouble in school, nobody thought that the problem could be with her vision. She wasn't complaining about not being able to see ; she was acting out instead. Plus, she could read the eye chart. It took a lot of trial and error to realize that while she could see, her eyes weren't working together correctly. She needed vision therapy to get herself back on track. I started this blog to share information with other concerned parents about how vision affects learning. Don't let a vision problem sneak by you and impact your child's education.