Ivey Eye Institute - London Ontario Canada

| Friday November 24, 2017
10:31 PM

The Ivey Eye Institute and Dr. Alex Mao, a local optometrist, are setting up a comprehensive low vision clinic at St. Joseph's Hospital in response to the growing numbers of people being diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other sight-impairing conditions.

"Low vision aids are considered when ordinary eyeglasses, contact lenses, medication or surgery cannot provide enough improvement in sight," says Dr. Mao. "People who are visually impaired – often referred to as having low vision – may suffer from macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, stroke and other eye conditions. Their vision can be assisted, in many cases, with low vision aids since these patients still have useful existing vision. CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) estimates that two per cent of the population 60 years or older has low vision. That number is expected to rise by 50 per cent by 2020 as the elderly population grows rapidly with aging of the baby boomer generation.

The low vision clinic now offers an extensive range of vision aids, including magnifiers, microscopes, telescopes, telemicroscopes, visual field expansion lenses, absorptive filters and high-tech electronic magnifiers. Low vision aids do not restore lost vision, but they can help a person keep his or her independence and allow them to read the newspaper, watch TV or write a cheque once again. Appointment is by referral from your family physician, ophthalmologist or optometrist, or by self-referral.

Low vision can occur from an accident, an ailment such as diabetes, or a condition associated with aging, such as macular degeneration, cataracts or glaucoma. People over age 50 experience low vision most often, but individuals of all ages may be affected.

Man Mohan Merchea
Inas Makar