Low Vision Courses
There are two categories of registration for people with visual impairment; sight impaired (partially sighted) and severely sight impaired (blind). The categorisation is dependant upon a combination of the patient’s visual acuity and available visual field and does not necessarily mean that they are unable to see anything.
Visual impairment can affect children, adults and elderly people and can be caused by congenital conditions, injury or illness. Eye conditions leading to visual impairment include cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.
Management of the related conditions and support for people with visual impairment may involve a multi-disciplinary team including ophthalmologists, optometrists and dispensing opticians as well as GPs, rehabilitation workers, social workers, teachers and charity network facilitators.
People with visual impairment, and their relatives, need to understand more about their eye condition and the difficulties that people with low vision experience on a daily basis. The World Health Organisation estimates that there are approximately 124 million people in the world with low vision of whom about a quarter would benefit from low vision services. Eye care practitioners must provide a quality service sensitive to the individual needs of those who are sight impaired, helping them to attain the highest level of independence.
This is an interesting and rewarding field of clinical practice spanning ocular pathology, epidemiology, lighting, optical design, psychological adaptation and devices for sensory substitution.