Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Result of the Low Vision Assessment

Last Wednesday saw me  going to visit a low vision specialist. After being legally blind for five years just the suggestion to go seemed odd, but I am glad that I did go.

We arrived for the appointment bright and early, people here in the U.S. will know going to a new doctor is a hassle with lots of paperwork at the reception describing you medical history.

After my wife filled in all the forms, we went to have my eyes checked for the curve of the eye, eye pressure and such. I had the curve of my eye measured in a machine which held my head in a headrest and then a lens moved in front of my eyes. The machine didn't touch my eye, I am guessing it uses something like a low power laser to measure the distance to the eye.

Then it was into the consulting room with the doctor. He was very pleasant, asked me to go through my particular history of eye problems and then asked me to read an eye chart.

Of course I saw nothing with my left eye, and was able to use some of my right eye peripheral vision to see the charts largest letter dimly.

His assessment was that I have 2800 vision in the right eye, that is well into the realm of legally blind, which I believe is at 200.

Then seemingly inspired he placed a lens in front of my right eye. Suddenly the eye chart cleared and I was able to say that there were two letters on the second line.

So with correction my vision improved to 2400. Still legally blind but "What the Hec!" I saw a second line for the first time in five years.

It seems that no one had recalled that I had been short sighted in the right eye prior to my central retinal vein occlussion, the measurement of the curvature of my eyes had shown this short sightedness, which of course can be treated with glasses.

I will still only have peripheral vision in the right eye, the macular in that eye is destroyed by the blood clots of the CRVO and has been dead for over ten years.

So then the doctor moved over to trying a variety of hand held lenses to help me see, but these didn't work as I have large areas of damaged tissue in the retina which means my vision is a little like looking through a Swiss Cheese. Then he moved me to a monitor and closed circuit television system because of the wider angle of view, my brain could reasonably fill in the blanks of my vision. So he will be suggesting a CCTV enlarger be suitable for me too.

From this one visit I gained a lot of information. The blurredness I see now is mainly the short sightedness, not blindness and easily treatable.

That there is help out there even if sometimes you need to ask several times for it.


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