What is a Low Vision Evaluation?

A woman points to a magnifier that a man is holding over a newspaper.

Low vision is defined as a significant vision condition that cannot be improved with glasses or contact lenses, surgery, or medicine. Low vision causes difficulty in doing daily activities, such as reading the newspaper, seeing pill bottles, or watching television. The central part of vision may be effected, making it difficult to see faces or mail clearly. Side (or peripheral) vision may be effected, making it difficult to see steps or curbs. There can also be an overall loss of sharpness and focus.

A low vision evaluation can help someone understand how to use their remaining vision more effectively, and to use adaptive methods to increase independence and reach vision goals. Ways to maximize the use of color, lighting, and contrast to enhance vision are demonstrated. Low vision devices, like magnifiers, are evaluated and recommendations are made for which ones would be most helpful. Other adaptive methods for managing activities are discussed, such as putting tactile labels on microwave buttons or using a bold lined marker to write phone numbers. Information about appropriate community, state, or federal services and benefits will be shared.

Low vision evaluations are scheduled by appointment and take place at the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired. The cost is not covered by insurance; financial assistance may be available if needed.

Please contact Amy Wurf at 608-237-8107 or awurf@wcblind.org for more information or to make an appointment.

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