Newly diagnosed?Doctors are not equipped to answer questions about the emotional and social implications of vision loss, but they can and should refer you to a low-vision counselor. A low-vision counselor can also benefit your family.
Questions you should ask your doctor
- What side effects should I expect from testing?
- What specific form of the disease do I have?
- What specific conditions are present in my eyes?
- What are the stages of progression and what warning signs should prompt examination?
- Is surgery an option?
- Is there anything I can do to care for my vision?
- Should I have genetic testing done?
- Where can I go locally to receive assistance in the use of low-vision aids if and when it becomes necessary? Your doctor should be able to put you in touch with a recommended rehabilitation center.
- How often should I be evaluated?
Questions which your doctor cannot answer
- Will I lose all of my vision? Each person is so different that doctors can only give you an educated guess.
- When are they going to find a cure? There is a great deal of research going on in many areas. There is reason to hope for a treatment for retinal disease within the next decade. Any more accurate prediction than that is purely guesswork.
The best you can do right now is to practice good nutritional habits, avoid pollution and smoking, protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays, and stay informed about possible treatments. Then, when a treatment does come, you will have done the best you can to take advantage of the treatment.
Where to find a low-vision counselor
The Washington Department of Services For The Blind is a premiere resource and a national leader in promoting the skills and abilities of people who are blind or have low vision. They team with customers, employers, communities, and fellow staff to achieve the highest level of customer service.
Explaining what you can and cannot see is difficult. For some of us our vision varies depending on lighting and our health. This interactive on-line tool simulates common types of vision loss. Sharing this website allows your fully-sighted family and friends to get a general idea of how certain eye diseases appear to the visually impaired.
How sunglasses protect your eyesight
Darker sunglasses do not mean better protection. Certain color lenses are better for different eye conditions. It’s always best to sit down with a low vision counselor to try the glasses first.Tips to take good care of yourself and your eyes from Dr. Oz.