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low vision services

Low Vision Treatment Services in Manassas, VA

Prince William Eye is excited to announce their most recent service: Low vision services for the residents of Manassas-Woodbridge, VA!!

What is Low Vision?

Low vision is the term for reduced levels of vision that cannot be restored with corrective lenses or other conventional forms of treatment. Unlike blindness, people who suffer from low vision do exhibit the ability to see, but their level of sight is so poor that it often causes problems in daily aspects of their lives.

legal blindness stat

Age-related macular degeneration can be one cause of low vision, and it is estimated that nearly 17 percent of adults over the age of 65 may suffer from some form of legal blindness or low vision. For those suffering from vision impairment with a central acuity less than 20/200, or a visual field of 20 degrees or less, government benefits may be available as they would be considered "legally blind."

Seeking professional help can help to identify the overall cause for a loss of vision. For those seeking a visit with an eye doctor or other low vision services, Prince William Eye Associates offers a wide range of treatments and services in the Manassas, Virginia, area.

What Are the Symptoms of Low Vision?

Any noticeable change in vision is always best assessed by a professional, but identifying some of the symptoms of low vision may be advantageous so you can discuss them with your eye care professional. Normal changes in vision occur throughout time, and a doctor is qualified to analyze any symptoms you may be experiencing.

Symptoms of low vision include the following:

  • Inability to recognize objects that are at a distance such as street signs or traffic signals.
  • Inability to differentiate between similar colors, like those in the green, blue and violent range of the spectrum.
  • Trouble recognizing objects at a distance
  • Difficulty seeing at close range during such activities as reading or cooking.
  • Inability to recognize the faces of family or friends.
  • Lighting may also provide some clues as some people with low vision may experience dimmer lights in a room that's normally well lit.

If you are experiencing any of these reductions in vision, itís a good idea to schedule an eye exam.

What Causes Low Vision?

Low vision can often be the result of several eye diseases and other complex health issues. Some of the most common include:

amd accounts for half of all cases for low vision

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD/ARMD).For Americans over the age of 60, AMD accounts for nearly half of all cases of low vision.AMD impacts the portion of the eye that is responsible for sharp, straight-on vision and causes a breakdown of that area. The result is a loss of central vision, which can occur from both the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the macula or the slow break down of cells that are sensitive to light.

  • Diabetes.In addition to those suffering from AMD, diabetics are also at risk for low vision. It can be the result of diabetic retinopathy, or blindness related to high blood sugar. Constant high blood sugar can impact the retina because it damages blood vessels, thus causing the issue of low vision.

  • Glaucoma.Glaucoma is the second leading cause in cases of low vision as it results in a gradual loss of vision over time. Unfortunately, there are not usually any early warning signs or symptoms of glaucoma. Itís normally detected after vision loss begins to occur. Anyone suffering from loss of vision in their periphery should consult an eye doctor as it is often an early sign of glaucoma.

  • Cataracts.Cataracts are a common impairment to vision as they create the appearance of clouding over the lens of the eye. In some cases, cataracts can lead to low vision. When protein clusters, or cataracts, accumulate in the eye lens and prohibit light from reaching your retina, your vision becomes cloudy. For instance, you won't see colors as brightly. Since cataracts develop slowly over time, most people don't realize they have cataracts until their vision is tested during an eye exam.

If you need cataracts treatment in Manassas, Prince William Eye Associates can perform thorough cataract removal surgery. A noninvasive procedure performed as outpatient surgery, cataract removal involves replacing the damaged eye lens with an intraocular lens. The intraocular lens restores your vision clearness immediately.

Anyone suffering from noticeable loss of vision, or the symptoms of these types of impairments should schedule an eye exam. Some conditions leading to low vision are also genetic. Examples of low vision causes can also include Stargardtís disease, retinitis pigmentosa and albinism. Other causes can be congenital or caused by traumatic injury. The low vision doctors in Manassas are more concerned with preserving your remaining eyesight rather than the cause of the loss itself.

How is a Low Vision Exam Different?

low vision exams lasts an hour

Low vision eye exams are quite different from a regular eye examinations. Unlike a traditional examination, low vision exams usually last at least one hour. In order to test both vision and function, medical tests including the dilation test are often omitted. Instead, the doctor will attempt to determine how the reduction in vision is affecting the life of the patient. Low vision is often detrimental to daily activities, and by identifying how the vision impairment is impacting the patient daily life, the doctor can determine what the patient's overall goals are before suggesting a method for managing the problem.

After determining the overall impact low vision has caused, a series of extensive vision tests are often conducted. If new eyeglasses are needed, doctors will use a careful refraction to determine the prescription through the use of magnification, illumination and other low vision devices.

Determining the best form and level of magnification is the task of the doctor, who will utilize telescopes, microscopes and prisms in order to better assist with performing the desired task. Depending on the situation, varying levels of magnification and strength may be needed, and will be tested to see which are best for you.

At Prince William Eye Associates, we can provide you with a low vision exam to help find the best solution and treatment for your low vision symptoms.

How Is Low Vision Treated?

Unfortunately for many, when vision is lost, it cannot be restored through traditional treatment methods. However, there are many ways of managing low vision and preserving the vision that remains. Depending on the cause of low vision, treatment options may differ.

  • Vision aids are a very common method of helping those suffering from low vision see better so they can perform daily tasks and activities that would prove challenging without treatment.
  • For some, doctors can also provide techniques to help people better utilize their remaining vision.
  • Optical devices such as magnifiers, computer software and telescopes might be incorporated for these patients.
  • Making changes to patientís regular environment to maximize their abilities. Changes for patients can include the use inexpensive non-optical solutions such as large print books and text-to-speech computer software for easier reading.
  • Rehabilitation may also prove advantageous for some patients, and doctors can work to help improve a patientís remaining vision and provide safer alternatives at home.

How Can Low Vision Treatment Improve My Lifestyle?

Seeking treatment for low vision can drastically improve a patient's lifestyle after suffering the challenges that come with vision loss. Patients who seek treatment can achieve a more independent lifestyle, maintain their communication skills through reading and writing, can utilize computers with special magnification tools and maintain their mobility by using tools to help them navigate safely throughout their homes and neighborhoods.

Treatment plans may include prescription glasses, therapeutic filters, video imagination and other medical rehabilitative therapy to help patients maximize their ability to perform daily activities.

What Is the Cost of Low Vision Treatment?

low vision service costs

The Low Vision Evaluation for Manassas residents usually requires one hour for testing with a Low Vision Complex refraction fee of $175.00. This portion is not covered by Medicare or private insurance plans. However, the exam portion is billable to your medical insurance provider. If you are located in the Manassas, VA area and require low vision services, contact Prince William eye today to schedule an appointment.

Depending on the determination by the doctor, low vision treatment costs can also change based on what type of vision aids might be needed. Inexpensive non-optical aids may be advantageous for some as well as other devices that can help make activities like reading, cooking and sewing easier. The cost of vision aids and what is needed will depend on how effective the patient's remaining vision is for performing day-to-day tasks.

Because of the nature of low vision, maximizing the amount of vision remaining is a primary concern, and it varies from person to person. Treatment can allow for a more independent lifestyle, and it is not unusual for patients to acquire more than one type of vision aid.

How Can Low Vision Be Prevented?

In some cases, prevention of low vision may be impossible. When it comes to genetics and birth defects, many who suffer from low vision have had the impairment their entire lives. In other cases, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and identifying problems early can help slow, or prevent, the impacts of low vision.

In the case of cataracts, surgery may be able to stop the issue from progressing and correct the damage cataracts caused. Additionally, maintaining a healthy overall lifestyle can also help in the prevention of low vision. For instance, eating healthy and exercising can reduce the risk of developing diabetes ó which, of course, can lead to low vision if blood sugar gets too high.

For those suffering from age-related macular degeneration, treatment methods and vision aids might help slow and manage the symptoms they are experiencing. Seeking treatment with low vision optometrists and other eye care professionals early when symptoms are first noticeable is the first step in identifying if there is a serious problem and learning how to manage it in the future.

How Can Prince William Eye Associates Help?

Prince William Eye Associates aims to provide the highest level of eye care to each and every patient who visits our office. The high-quality eye care our dedicated staff provides is available throughout northern Virginia to patients living in Prince William, Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. We are constantly learning about the latest educational and technological advances, and we incorporate these practices into our examinations to ensure our patients receive the most up-to-date treatment and get the most benefit.

vision changes to due age

While your vision can remain normal for many years, changes do occur as you age. These changes can result in fuzziness, blurriness and other vision issues, making daily tasks a challenge. By scheduling an annual eye exam with Prince William Eye Associates, our team of professionals can identify causes of vision changes or low vision development, such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy as well as other vision impairments such as myopia or refractive errors.

For those experiencing any of the symptoms associated with low vision or are having difficulty with routine tasks such as reading, writing, cooking, driving and watching television, a low vision eye exam can help the doctor determine the causes and how to better treat your symptoms. For those who are worried about their insurance provider, Prince William Eye Associates accepts all of the major vision insurance types and most major types of medical insurance.

We will also see patients without insurance, but the cost of services can be greatly diminished if you have one the insurance types we accept. If you have one of the insurance providers we participate with, it will make it easier for you to know what is covered up front, and how we can go about helping you improve your vision.

If you are unsure how to go about making an eye exam or what kind of services you may need, make an appointment with Prince William Eye Associates today.

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