When someone is diagnosed with low vision and told it cannot be corrected with glasses, medical treatment or surgery, the future can look bleak. Children, adults and senior citizens can have blurred vision, tunnel vision, blind spots or a combination of these symptoms, resulting in low vision. For a young child it may mean she can’t see what her teacher is writing on the board. A teenager may be robbed of the opportunity to get his temporary license and drive a car. An adult who has been employed for years could lose her job because it is becoming difficult to see the computer. Seniors may struggle to maintain independence if daily tasks become insurmountable.

Living with low vision can be challenging but Dr. Cheryl Reed has more than 35 years of experience in the field of low vision rehabilitation and is often able to provide some light at the end of what feels like a very dark tunnel for many people. A low vision assessment can help identify magnifiers, special lighting, telescopes or specialized glasses that can be used to help people of all ages.

February is Low Vision Awareness Month and later this month we will share the story of Mary Kissel who has used various telescopes throughout the past 40 years to help her drive, work and enjoy an element of freedom she never thought possible.

I’ve always been legally blind. I never dreamed that I could legally drive. It’s like a miracle.

Mary Kissel

Judith A. Read Low Vision Services is one of only a few clinics in Ohio providing this invaluable service. Unfortunately these services and low vision aids are not generally covered by insurance. The clinic directs individuals to other agencies which may provide assistance or uses grant funding when available.

If you, or someone you know, could benefit from a low vision assessment, contact us online, or call us at 330-762-9755 and ask to speak to Heidi Chalmers, Low Vision Services office coordinator.