Optometric Management Tip # 449   -   Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Even if you don't do low vision…

Most of the eye care providers I know do not provide low vision care.  I think it's an excellent specialty that an optometrist could easily add to his or her primary care practice, but even if that does not interest you, make sure your office is equipped to treat patients who do not have corrected visual acuity in the normal range.  You may not call them low vision patients; to you they may be AMD patients or diabetic retinopathy patients, but the result is the same.  We all have plenty of patients whose best corrected visual acuity in the better seeing eye is 20/40 or worse.  These patients deserve the best eye care possible and a few inexpensive items will help you provide that.

A (non) low vision checklist
Here are a few items I highly recommend for all practices that will help you provide better care for patients with visual disabilities.  Check to see if you have them and consider how you handle each need.

Counseling
Counseling a low vision patient can be just as important as prescribing a device.  Here are few common bits of advice:

Referrals to another optometrist
Finally, don't make the mistake of telling your low vision patients that nothing can be done and don't stop with the basic care I've outlined above.  Get to know an optometric low vision specialist in your area and make a professional referral when indicated.


Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management