Low Vision Service
Low vision simply means not being able to see as well as most other people even when you’re wearing glasses or contact lenses. For example, you would probably have low vision if you have age related macular degeneration (AMD).
If you already have a vision impairment or low vision, or are registered as either sight impaired or severely sight impaired our specially trained and accredited Low Vision Optometrist can help you make the best use of the sight you have.
What Should I Expect?
We’ll aim to get you booked into a free hour long appointment within two weeks. The assessment is designed for us to discuss your eyesight condition and the difficulties this may present in your day to day life. We’ll then talk to you about what you would most like help with, such as reading cooking instructions, paying bills, watching television, dealing with medicines or tablets, completing school work or even working on hobbies. We may then get you to try out a number of different low vision aids such as handheld or stand magnifiers, typoscopes, task lights, electronic magnifiers, shields and/or reading stands etc specific to your requirements.
Between us, we will decide which (if any) low vision aids may best help you and how to use them to best effect. These will then be ordered free of charge for you to take home on loan for as long as you may need them.
We will also offer specialist advice about your particular eye condition, as well as being able to give practical advice about how to best manage with home lighting and seating etc. We can put you in touch with local voluntary support groups or clubs, or organise referrals for extra help from social services or education providers according to your needs. Referrals to your GP or to Ophthalmology can also be made if necessary.
Depending on your particular condition, your eyesight and the tasks that you wish to carry out in day to day life may change over time. Therefore Welsh Government provide funding for each low vision patient to have one full free assessment every year. This allows your needs and vision difficulties to be annually re-assessed, and your low vision aids to perhaps be changed or added to as necessary. There are over 200 different low vision aids available through the service, so most patients generally find at least one or two items that they use regularly, that help them to make the very most of the sight that they do have. The Low Vision Service is rightly proud of how it has helped many people with poor vision in Wales to retain as many independent living skills as possible since it was created in 2004.
What If I Don’t Get On With the Low Vision Aids?
As all low vision aids from the service are on long term loan we do ask that any Low vision aids that you are no longer using should be sent back to us for recycling. In between full assessments we will be happy to arrange a quick follow up appointment or a chat over the phone should you have any difficulties with using any of the aids that you currently have or feel that you need to try something else.