Low Vision Services

If you have heard terms like “partially sighted”, “legally blind”, “subnormal vision”, or “low vision”, used to describe your condition, you will benefit from our Low Vision Services.

Low Vision is the process where a trained specialist or Eye Doctor works with you to help you continue to utilize and enjoy your vision, even with significant partial loss of vision.

Low vision is not a surgical procedure or medical treatment, but rather a rehabilitative program designed specifically to teach you new skills and strategies to maximize your remainig vision.

We may recommend Optical, Electronic, or Adaptive devices in order to help you accomplish your desired visual expectations and goals, as well as recommend other complementary medical or rehabilitative specialists to complete your care.

Millions of Americans suffer with Low Vision, and most do not receive any assistance with this condition. In fact, many patients are told that “nothing more can be done” about the vision loss.

Few people are totally without sight. Most individuals today that are classified as blind, actually have some remaining sight and thanks to developments in the field of Low Vision rehabilitation, can be helped to make good use of it, improving their quality of life. In fact, 68% of those individuals reading Braille, could be helped to see again with specialized Low Vision Aides and Devices that are currently available.

Anyone with noncorrectable reduced vision is visually impaired, and can have a wide range of problems. The World Health Organization uses the following classifications of visual impairment. When the vision in the better eye with best possible eyeglass correction is:

  • 20/30 to 20/60 is considered mild vision loss, or near-normal vision
  • 20/70 to 20/160 is considered moderate visual impairment, or moderate low vision
  • 20/200 to 20/400 is considered severe visual impairment, or severe low vision
  • 20/500 to 20/1,000 is considered profound impairment or profound low vision
  • less than 20/1,000 is considered near-total visual impairment, or near total blindness
  • No light perception is considered total visual impairment, or total blindness

In the United States, any person with vision that cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in the best eye, or who has 20 degrees of less of visual field remaining(indicates loss of peripheral vision), is considered legally blind.

Common types of Low vision – Loss of Central Vision- The loss of central vision creates a blur or Blind spot while the side (peripheral) vision remains intact. This Makes it difficult to read, recognize faces, and distinguish most details in the distance. Mobility, however is usually unaffected because side vision remains intact.

Loss of Peripheral(side) Vision – Loss of peripheral vision is typified by the inability to distinguish anything to one side or both sides, or anything directly above and or below eye level. Central vision remains, however, making it possible to see directly ahead. Typically, loss of peripheral vision may affects one’s mobility, and Slow reading speed as a result of seeing only a few words at a time, and is sometimes referred to as “tunnel vision”.

Blurred vision – Blurred vision causes both far and near vision to cppear to be out of focus, even with the best conventional spectacle correction possible.

Generalized Haze – Generalized haze causes the sensation of a film Or glare and may extend over the entire viewing field.

Extreme Light Sensitivity – Extreme Light Sensitivity exists when standard levels of illumination overwhelm the visual system, producing a washed out image resulting in glare disability. People with extreme light sensitivity may actually suffer periodic discomfort from relatively normal levels or illumination.

Night Blindness – Night Blindness results in an inability to see outside at night time, in starlight or moonlight, or in dimly lighted interior areas such as movie theaters or restaurants.

Low Vision Care – Low Vision Rehabilitation is Treatment for Visual Impairment

Doctors of Optometry who specialize in low vision rehabilitation care are skilled in examination, treatment and management of patients with visual impairments not treatable by medical, surgical or conventional eyewear or contact lenses. Each type of vision problem requires a different therapeutic approach. A thorough examination by an Optometrist, which will also include tests to determine the patients current vision will result in the development of a treatment plan. Treatment plans may include prescription of eyeglasses, specialized optical systems, therapeutic filters, non-optical and/or video magnification, and the prescription or rehabilitative therapy to effect and maximize visual functioning for activities of daily living. Therapy may also be prescribed to enhance remaining visual skills and may also include referral to other vision rehabilitation professionals, as indicated.

Low Vision Examination

The Optometrist providing Low Vision Rehabilitation will ask for a complete personal and family general health and eye health history. In addition, the optometrist will discuss the functional problems with the patient, including such things as reading, functioning in the kitchen, glare problems, travel vision, the workplace, television viewing, school requirements, and hobbies and interests.

Preliminary tests may include assessment of Ocular functions such as color vision and contrast sensitivity. Measurements will be taken of the person’s visual acuity using special low vision test charts, which include a larger range of letters or numbers to more accurately determine a starting point for determining the level of impairment. Visual fields may also be evaluated. A specialized refraction must be performed and each eye will be thoroughly examined.

The Optometrist may prescribe various treatment options, including low vision devices, as well as assist the person with identifying other resources for vision and lifestyle rehabilitation.

Low Vision Devices

A wide variety of rehabilitation options are available to help people with low vision problems and work more effectively, efficiently, and safely. Most people can be helped with the many low vision options available.

Unfortunately, only 20-25 percent of those patients that could benefit from these treatment options have been seen by a low vision Optometrist. The more commonly prescribed devices are:

Spectacle-mounted magnifiers – A magnifying lens is mounted in a spectacle frame or on a special headband and this system is called a microscope. This allows both hands to complete the close-up task, such as reading.

Hand held or Spectacle-mounted telescopes – These miniature telescopes are useful for seeing longer distances, such as across the room to watch television and can also be modified for near(reading)tasks.

Hand-held and stand magnifiers – These can serve as supplements to specialized systems. They are convenient for short term reading such as reading tags, labels, and instrument dials. Both types can be equipped with lights.

Video magnification – Table-top(closed-circuit television) or head-mounted camera systems enlarge reading material on a video display. Some systems can be integrated into a computer or monitor. Image brightness, image size, contrast and foreground/background color illumination can be customized.

In addition, there are numerous other products to assist those with vision impairment, such as large-type books, magazines, and newspapers, books-on-tape, self-threading needles, and more.

If you, or someone you know, suffers from a vision impairment, call our office for an appointment. We can provide the low vision rehabilitative services, help and resources needed to gain back the independence and freedom once seemed lost. People with low vision can be taught a variety of techniques to help with daily activities with what vision remains. There are government and private programs that offer educational and vocational counseling, occupational therapy, rehabilitation and more.

Experts agree that low vision does not have to diminish the quality of life. As of 1999, both the American Optometric Association and the American Academy of Ophthalmology have called for Medicare coverage of Low Vision Rehabilitative services. Many Medicare carriers now have policies in place that cover some of the low vision rehabilitation services.

Help is AVAILABLE TODAY. Don’t wait any longer to learn how Low Vision Rehabilitation and our office can make all the difference!

Serving Coral Springs and South Florida

Dr. K is the premiere eye doctor and professional sports & athletic optometrist based in Margate, FL.

Office Hours

Monday   9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Tuesday  9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Wed        9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Thursday 9 A M. to 5 P.M. Friday      9 A.M. to 5 P.M.


Dr. Steven R. Koganovsky | Board Certified Optometric Physician
101 North State Road 7 Suite 103      Margate, Florida 33063
Office Telephone 954-972-6934      Fax 954-972-6946