When a patient has lost vision that cannot be restored and their lifestyle is affected by that vision loss, the patient may benefit from vision rehabilitation. This may be a vision loss from 20/50 or worse in the better eye, to being legally blind (20/200 or worse in the better eye or a peripheral loss to less than 20 degrees). If there is still some vision left, either centrally or in the periphery (side vision) the patient can be helped to restore some of their lifestyle with low vision devices.
Vision rehabilitation does not restore lost vision. We train the patient to best utilize their remaining vision.
Many of the devices used for rehabilitation are for close work. These may include stronger than normal reading glasses or bifocals, hand and stand magnifiers, or electronic devices that magnify print so the patient can read. E readers (Kindle, IPad, Nook, and others) are extremely helpful in this. They can magnify print large enough for the patient to read and can also control the brightness and contrast.
The state of Indiana has a bioptic driving law. A bioptic is a telescope that the driver uses to spot objects and read signs that they cannot see with their normal vision. There are specific requirements and training involved, and many patients with vision loss may not qualify for bioptic driving.
The requirements are: Patient must have 20/200 or better vision in one eye and be able to see 20/40 with the glasses mounted telescope. The telescope cannot be stronger than 4X. The patient must have side vision that is no less than 120 degrees of visual field, and they must have adequate color vision to see traffic signals.