We can't cure every eye disease. How can we help patients who can't see?
Unfortunately, modern medicine has not invented cures for everything. Patients can have poor vision despite receiving the latest, greatest treatments. So then what?
Here is my approach for patients with “low vision”:
➡ Talk with patients and their families *together*. What is important for quality of life? TV? Reading? What is the desired level of independence?
➡ Try simple tools like ebook readers and iPads.
➡ Referral to an optometrist to optimize glasses. This consultation is critical. A good pair of glasses can make a world of difference. They can even prescribe specialized “telescopic” glasses.
➡ Consult the state's services for the blind. Often, they will perform a free home visit. They give great advice and provide low vision aids.
➡ Consider specialized magnifying devices (see my pic of a desktop magnifier). There are many types available for different situations. For example, handheld magnifiers are not appropriate for patients with a hand tremor.
The desktop magnifier device in the pic costs about $3000 and was generously donated by my patient to a local nursing home.
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