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The Opportunities in The Low Vision Space Are Unlimited

Here are the latest tools to help tackle the increasing number of visual impairment sufferers.

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IT IS ESTIMATED there are about 18 million people in the United States who are in the early stages of macular degeneration. Even in a small state like Rhode Island there are 23,000 people who have visual impairments. As a result, Dr. Richard Shuldiner says, there is a huge need for more doctors who do low vision. His training institute offers a four-day intensive course to help doctors become proficient in low vision care. In the past 15 years, Dr. Shuldiner has trained over 50 doctors in low vision. He first helps them understand the psychology of the low vision patient who is afraid they’ll go blind. Since low vision is all about function, he shows doctors how to prescribe various devices to help them regain some. The task the patient wants to do determines the type of device chosen.

The Opportunities in The Low Vision Space Are Unlimited

Vispero

Optelec ClearView C Full HD Speech video magnifier to give people with low vision optimal reading comfort. It reads text aloud and magnifies text and images to give sharp contrast in a customizable setup.

(727) 803- 8000 | vispero.com

Cocoons-Low-Vision-Fitovers---Model-C412L

Live Eyewear

Cocoons Low Vision fitovers featuring Lemon filters.

(800) 834-2563 | cocoons.com

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woman driving

Designs For Vision

A 1.7X bioptic telescope in the Nadler Frame is designed for distance. This patient is using the device for driving.

(800) 345-4009 | designsforvision.com

OrCam eyewear

Orcam Technologies

OrCam MyEye, an AI-driven, voice-activated wearable device for people who are blind, visually impaired or have reading challenges. It can instantly read text from any book or screen, recognize faces of family and friends, and accurately identify products, and communicate it to the wearer in real-time.

(800) 713-3741 | orcam.com

woman reading

Eschenbach Optik of America

The 1650-2A is a Smartlux Digital Portable Video Magnifier with a 5-inch display, color-coded tactile buttons, and 3-15x magnification. It has a customizable menu, a quick refresh rate, and 14 color contrast modes to make it an ideal reading device for low vision patients.

(800) 487-5389 | eschenbach.com

Smart Ways to Sell Low Vision Aids

William O’connell, OD Westchester Low Vision, Scarsdale, NY

The Opportunities in The Low Vision Space Are Unlimited

Each situation is radically different. When I was at SUNY Optometry we had mostly low income, heavily Medicaid patients so I recommended inexpensive optical devices. When I worked at the Lighthouse Guild it was a different clientele who could afford to pay for low vision devices and I prescribed more expensive options. At the Hudson Valley VA, where I also worked, devices go to veterans at no charge. I prescribed a ton of electronic and high-tech devices. I always recommend patients use better devices that come with a warranty, and have far superior image quality and ergonomics, but I must consider the person sitting in the chair in front of me and what they can afford. I make money on the visit, not on the device. There’s no question that higher cost, portable, electronic magnifiers work better but often only self-pay patients can afford them.

Richard Shuldiner, OD
Shuldiner Low Vision Training Institute, Corona, CA

The Opportunities in The Low Vision Space Are Unlimited

Often low vision patients are not being taken care of properly and will say why didn’t my doctor tell me about this? We try to prevent vision loss in patients but once they’ve lost vision no one is really taking care of them and they’re scared to death of losing their sight. Their mental state is crucial. Often with macular degeneration a patient needs two doctors: one for their retinal condition and one for vision loss. The device the low vision doctor prescribes should relate to the task the patient wants to accomplish. Using glasses should be the number one solution. They can get microscope lenses, telescope glasses, hand magnifiers, and bioptic telescope lenses. I could prescribe a Designs for Vision bioptic telescope lens so the patient can hold it at arm’s length to play bridge.

 

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