Can anything be done about low vision? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Low vision, which affects one in four adults over 75, is often associated with damage to the macula, the part of the eye where our vision usually works best. Judith Goldstein, a low vision expert at Johns Hopkins, says there are well defined ways to help.

Judith Goldstein: What happens if that macula isn’t working so well? Glasses are probably not the answer, so we have to use specialty lenses, and lighting, magnification systems and telescopic systems, all with the aim of enhancing that image, not on the macula but maybe next to the macula where there’s a little bit healthier retina. What if the enhancement isn’t good enough? Then we have to rely on our other senses. We call this sensory substitution, the ability to use our other senses to help us accomplish our everyday activities.  :29

Goldstein says management of low vision requires a team approach, since there are multiple strategies in learning to live with the condition. Initial assessment of low vision should involve comprehensive testing and assessment so best techniques can be employed. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.