If you, or someone you know, has a visual impairment, it is important to ask your optometrist about low vision rehabilitation services. An optometrist who specializes in this type of rehabilitation can help people with low vision regain their independence and improve their quality of life. Rehab centers for people with low vision are available in every state, and you can begin your search by consulting your eye doctor. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEE) is one of the few eye centers in the tri-state area that has an optometrist specializing in low vision.
It is essential that these patients be referred to an optometrist to identify, treat and monitor their visual health, as well as to coordinate care between other providers. While the eye doctor is the professional you're likely to turn to first when you have vision problems of your own (or those of a family member), it's important to note that there are many different types of eye rehabilitation services available, in addition to the eye care provided by your family doctor, ophthalmologist, optometrist, or low vision specialist. The model of care for patients with visual impairment is similar to the physical medicine and rehabilitation model of care for people of all ages with visual impairment. Optometrists who specialize in this type of care are able to identify and manage an appropriate patient-centered care team. This practice allows optometrists to maximize the function, independence, and overall health of their patients.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) is committed to promoting and providing resources so that more patients see optometrists and receive the visual rehabilitation services they need. Primary care doctors must also be able to identify, refer, and guide patients to the low vision services they need. Optometrists should look for signs that their patients' visual impairments may be causing them difficulty performing their normal activities. As primary care ophthalmologists, optometrists should be able to identify and refer patients who need neurooptometry services, as well as teach them how optometry can benefit their rehabilitation. As an expert in the field of optometry, I can confidently say that an optometrist can provide invaluable assistance when it comes to vision rehabilitation. By identifying and managing a patient-centered care team, optometrists are able to maximize the function, independence, and overall health of their patients.
Additionally, primary care doctors must be able to identify, refer, and guide patients to the low vision services they need. If you or someone you know has a visual impairment, it is important to consult your optometrist about low vision rehabilitation services. The American Optometric Association (AOA) is committed to promoting and providing resources so that more patients see optometrists and receive the visual rehabilitation services they need.