Guiding a loved one to see a low vision optometrist

Published on
January 20, 2022

When someone undergoes the transition to being low vision they undergo a sort of bereavement process coming to terms with the loss of so many things that once were simple. Low vision optometrists are vital in helping low vision patients transition through that process. 

What to say if your loved one says “I already have an eye doctor?” 

If you have a family member or friend who is visually impaired then you may be wondering how you can help them. You spend time and research a low vision provider that is in your area. When you speak to your loved one they say “I already have an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist, if it was something that I needed my Dr. would have told me.”

We are referred to by many of the ophthalmologists and optometrists in the area, but in some instances there is not enough communication from the primary care provider about options for a low vision patient. 

Explain the difference to them.

An Optometrist or Ophthalmologist that you currently see is an important element of monitoring health and taking available treatments to prevent the progression of vision loss.

A low vision optometrist is going to be someone who now looks at their functional vision and helps with things such as optic or non optic devices, absorptive filters to help with glare sensitivity and possibly different types of technology to assist with me and to the patient's goal. There is still a lot of hope for maximizing the remaining vision and to enable a low vision patient to regain the things that they really felt brought meaning to their lives. 

Paint a picture of how it can help

Ask them “what do you miss the most since you lost your vision”? Explain how a low vision optometrist will look at their vision and really maximize their remaining vision. In many cases a low vision patient who was told “nothing more can be done” will be able to drive, read, watch tv, and so much more. 

That is the reason they should go see a low vision optometrist, to regain the things that were taken away from them when they started losing vision.  

Contact their Eye Doctor 

Many times an ophthalmologist or optometrist will forget to refer a patient to a low vision optometrist. If your loved one is still hesitant, offer to call the primary care eye doctor and ask what they think about visiting a low vision optometrist such as Dr. McBryar.

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