Is low vision preventable?

While no one knows how to prevent diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), research shows that exercising, not smoking and cutting exposure to ultra violet rays and blue light by wearing sunglasses outside can help reduce your risk. Also, it’s been shown that a diet rich in antioxidants (vitamins C, A and E) and carotenoids (found in leafy green vegetables and carrots) may slow, and possibly help prevent, age-related vision conditions like AMD and cataracts. Be sure to check with your doctor to determine the right dosage before adding supplements to your daily regimen.

What is a low vision specialist?

These are optometrists (OD) or ophthalmologists (MD) who have received specialized training in low vision. In addition to making a diagnosis and suggesting a course of rehabilitation, they also prescribe or recommend devices or refer out for other services. As part of a recommended program of training and rehabilitation, the patient may also work with low vision therapists, occupational therapists and certified low vision technicians (CLVT).

Will training or devices help restore vision?

While low vision devices won’t restore vision, with the proper training they will help patients make the most of their remaining vision, which will increase independence and raise quality of life. There is no such thing as an all-purpose device. Rather, each device is designed to help the patient complete specific sets of tasks—like a magnifier for reading and a telescope for viewing distant objects.

Does insurance cover devices and services?

Some insurance companies cover both the cost of low vision exams and low vision devices. Most Medicare programs cover low vision exams and may cover devices. Check with your health insurance provider for more information about your coverage before you seek care.

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