What Does a Low Vision Therapist Do?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
A magnifying glass may be very helpful for individuals who suffer with vision issues.
A magnifying glass may be very helpful for individuals who suffer with vision issues.

A low vision therapist is a medical professional or rehab specialist who works with people who have visual impairments to help them become as independent as possible. Like other types of occupational therapists, low vision therapists place a heavy emphasis on empowering their patients so that their patients can live without support or assistance from others. A variety of techniques are used to accomplish this goal, including regular sessions with the patient to monitor progress.

Seeing a low vision therapist can be extremely beneficial to a patient struggling with a new diagnosis.
Seeing a low vision therapist can be extremely beneficial to a patient struggling with a new diagnosis.

People can be referred to a low vision therapist with degenerative conditions, damage to their eyes which has been arrested but has still caused visual issues, and other vision problems. The first step for the low vision therapist is an assessment in which the level of function is ascertained, so that the therapist can tailor a program to the patient. He or she may also review the patient's chart and referral information to learn more about the patient's condition.

Low vision therapists can help a person determine the right kind of eyeglasses for their condition.
Low vision therapists can help a person determine the right kind of eyeglasses for their condition.

The therapist also interviews the patient, talking about specific issues which the patient has trouble with, such as reading, cooking, and so forth. Low vision therapists also talk with patients about their jobs to learn more about what they do, and how the therapist can help the patient retain a high level of freedom and functionality at work. With all of this information, the low vision therapist develops a treatment plan which is appropriate for the patient.

A low vision therapist may assess a patient's level of vision prior to making suggestions.
A low vision therapist may assess a patient's level of vision prior to making suggestions.

He or she may provide the patient with techniques and exercises which are intended to help the patient retain as much visual acuity as possible, by working the eyes and learning to cope with visual impairments. Low vision therapists may be especially concerned with this when a patient has a degenerative disease, as they want to keep the patient fully functional for as long as possible. Routine monitoring for changes in vision quality and other emerging issues is also important.

It's important to have regularly scheduled vision assessments, particularly when there are any changes in vision.
It's important to have regularly scheduled vision assessments, particularly when there are any changes in vision.

A low vision therapist also provides information about assistive devices, along with advice on how to use them. These devices can include magnifying glasses, screen readers for computers, and a variety of other tools which can assist a patient with an assortment of tasks. The therapist may be able to provide some devices for free or at low cost through grants from charitable groups and health insurance coverage, or he or she can help the patient pick up the most suitable products.

Seeing a low vision therapist can be extremely beneficial for a patient, especially if he or she is struggling with a new diagnosis. The therapist can provide valuable information and skills which will allow the patient to become more confident, and alleviate concerns which the patient may have.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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    • A magnifying glass may be very helpful for individuals who suffer with vision issues.
      By: ChmpagnDave
      A magnifying glass may be very helpful for individuals who suffer with vision issues.
    • Seeing a low vision therapist can be extremely beneficial to a patient struggling with a new diagnosis.
      By: Syda Productions
      Seeing a low vision therapist can be extremely beneficial to a patient struggling with a new diagnosis.
    • Low vision therapists can help a person determine the right kind of eyeglasses for their condition.
      By: Kurhan
      Low vision therapists can help a person determine the right kind of eyeglasses for their condition.
    • A low vision therapist may assess a patient's level of vision prior to making suggestions.
      By: arztsamui
      A low vision therapist may assess a patient's level of vision prior to making suggestions.
    • It's important to have regularly scheduled vision assessments, particularly when there are any changes in vision.
      By: fred goldstein
      It's important to have regularly scheduled vision assessments, particularly when there are any changes in vision.