When a person has poor vision, magnification can help them see better.
By increasing the size of the thing the patient cannot see, the patient is able to see it.
Our low vision optometrist at our Los Angeles Low Vision clinic is residency trained Dr. Sarah Wolff. She explains that during a low vision evaluation she places a significant emphasis on discussing with the patient about where magnification will make the biggest impact and how it will be used. Understanding patient goals is the key to determine the ideal device for a patient.
When it comes to magnifiers, most people think of handheld magnifiers as the easiest to use. These can be purchased at a drugstore. They are usually quite large. However, they are usually not very high magnification. 2x magnification is standard and 3x is maximum. And while that will work for quite a lot of things, it doesn't work for everything. However, the big window is a nice feature. That's why they usually have a bigger window whenever the magnification is lower. Magnification of this type is used to quickly look at something. A great tool if you need to read a phone number or look at a recipe. If you were trying to read a newspaper with a magnifier like this, it would take so long. It's not very convenient for long-time reading because you'd have to move it around. The issue with hand-held magnifiers is that you have a smaller view and you have to move your hand around, so it doesn't always flow nicely. Trying to do that becomes somewhat cumbersome.
Handheld magnifiers with LED light
Handheld magnifiers with lights are also available. These magnifiers have the option to turn the light on and off. Their magnifying power is a bit higher so the window is bigger. Even though there can be some glare, it can actually help when the reading material has a darker background.
Stand magnifiers with LED light
A stand magnifier is still one of the most commonly prescribed low vision devices. Standard magnifiers are placed on the page. Ideally, you would place it on a table and then just move it along. This allows you to have a more comfortable reading experience when you read a newspaper on a table. It also features 2.5x magnification and a large window. As the magnification increases, the window gets smaller. Another benefit of a stand magnifier is that it comes with a light. Whenever you are reading in a dark space, it is best if there is a light in the magnifier because otherwise it becomes very dim and it is much more difficult to read.
Dome magnifiers fall between handheld magnifiers, which are meant for short-term reading, and stand magnifiers, which are meant for long-term reading. They keep your hands free while reading. There is more light coming through, so everything is perfectly clear. A full case blocks the light. A lighted mechanism would then be necessary. However, this is pretty simple for desktop use.
We are lucky to live in a world with technology that assists people with vision loss. Most of us carry around a low vision device without realizing it, a phone.
Our phones can be adapted to use for contrast, magnification, and much more.
Handheld CCTV- digital magnification
These are digital based handheld magnifiers that can provide a wide range of magnification powers, contrast improvements, and other tweaks that make reading more accessible.
Visit us for a low vision evaluation
We welcome you to our practice located in Bellflower California. We have a passionate team of eye doctors and staff that take the time to help every patient achieve their best vision. Call our office at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule a low vision evaluation with Dr. Wolff.
Named after Braille Institute founder, J. Robert Atkinson, Atkinson Hyperlegible font is great for low vision readers.
In contrast to traditional typography design, it emphasizes letterform distinction in order to increase character recognition, thus improving readability. Anyone with low vision is welcome to use it for free!
What is low vision?
It is a loss of vision that cannot be treated with medical or surgical treatments or with conventional eyeglasses or contact lenses. Low vision is a condition that makes doing everyday tasks difficult. People with low vision must learn to adapt to their condition and can be helped with a variety of low vision devices and tools.
What makes Atkinson hyperlegible font so unique
There are times when it may be difficult for people with low vision to distinguish letters and numbers while reading. The Atkinson Hyperlegible font offers a variety of design techniques to differentiate commonly misinterpreted letters and numbers.
- Recognizable footprints: Character boundaries are clearly defined, making understanding possible across the visual-ability spectrum
- Differentiated letterforms: Letter pairs are differentiated from one another to dramatically increase legibility
- Unambiguous characters: Designed to improve readability and distinguishability
- Exaggerated forms: Letter shapes are exaggerated to improve clarity
- Opened counterspace: Some of the open areas on certain letters are enlarged to provide more distinction
- Angled spurs and differentiated tails: enhance recognition and define distinct style
- Circular details: Links to the history of Braille Institute and braille dots
Characteristics of Atkinson hyperlegible font
- Four fonts, including two weights (regular, bold, italics, italics bold)
- 1,340 total glyphs across all fonts, 335 per font
- Accent characters supporting 27 languages
- For designers and anyone interested in making written materials easier to read across the entire visual-ability spectrum
- Improve legibility and readability for low vision readers
Downloading and installing it
Click here to download the Atkinson hyperlegible font for free
Instructions for installing the font
Download the .zip file linked above. Extract the file to reveal additional folders inside. Find the Open Type Format (.otf) files for the four Atkinson Hyperlegible fonts (regular, italic, bold, bold italic) inside the “Print Fonts” folder. *Note that only the Open Type files are needed to install the font on a computer. There are five additional font formats in the “Web Fonts” folder for use on the web.
On Windows 10: Double-click the font file, then click the “Install” button in the font preview window that opens. The font will be installed. Alternatively, right-click on the file and choose “Install” from the pop-up menu that appears.
On Mac: Double-click the font file in the Finder, then click “Install Font” in the font preview window that opens. After your Mac validates the font and opens the Font Book app, the font is installed and available for use.
Schedule a low vision evaluation at [mbv name="practice-name"]
At [mbv name="practice-name"] we offer advanced low vision optometric eyecare. Our low vision optometrist spends time with each patient to understand their visual capabilities and what goals they have for improving their vision. After a full evaluation our low vision optometrist will help guide the patient through the various options available such as handheld and wearable devices that provide additional magnification, color contrast, and field of view. Furthermore our low vision optometrist will guide the patient on the resources available through different organizations and tools that can help them in their activities of daily living. Call our office at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule a low vision evaluation.
Macular degeneration is a condition characterised by retinal damage that can cause loss of central vision. Understanding what can cause AMD is very important to know if you are at risk for it because there are precautions that can be taken to avoid damage from AMD.
If you have an immediate family member with macular degeneration, it increases your risk of getting that condition as well.
Caucasians are at the greatest risk of developing AMD and going blind due to macular degeneration. One third of white people carry a gene related to macular degeneration, and those with light colored eyes are more likely to develop dry AMD.
When you smoke, you definitely increase your chances of developing macular degeneration.
You may develop a variety of eye conditions including macular degeneration if you live in areas with bright sunlight and are out all the time. So it certainly doesn't help with the macula either. Essentially, our eyes are magnifiers themselves. When we are outside in the sun, our eyes magnify all that light into our eyes. In addition to having UV protection for light entering from the front of your glasses, it is actually important to also have protection on the back surface of your lenses. When we make glasses for our patients, especially sunglasses and clear glasses, we apply a UV coating to the back surface. It's easy to forget that there's still a lot of reflection coming from the back, which reflects back into our eyes. If it comes from the back, it's not going to be filtered until we put on the backside coating.
Research shows that someone who is obese is at a slightly increased risk of developing macular degeneration. However for someone with macular degeneration, the risks are much higher, as obesity has been shown to significantly increase the risk that earlier stages of macular degeneration will progress to later stages. Since later stages of macular degeneration leads to permanent vision loss, it is very important that someone who has macular degeneration is careful about managing their weight.
There is a high correlation between macular degeneration and heart disease with a major study in Taiwan that showed a significant association between the two. However scientific studies have not shown definitively whether there is a causal relationship between the two.
Age is the biggest risk factor for macular degeneration, and the reason it is called Age Related Macular Degeneration. Typically, around the age of 60 is when we start to see signs of macular degeneration, but it doesn't mean that those signs cannot be apparent earlier or later than that. But on average, it usually happens around that age. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in adults over 60. Between ages 50 and 60, diabetic retinopathy is actually the leading cause of blindness.
A diet high in fish, eggs, and leafy green vegetables increases the amount of cartenoids found in the retina. These cartenoids, namely Lutein and Zeaxanthin, have been shown to reduce the progression of macular degeneration. For someone that has a diet that lacks these food groups in proper proportions, there may be an increased risk, especially if they have early stage macular degeneration.
Eye doctor for Macular Degeneration in Los Angeles
At Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach, we provide advanced medical eyecare for macular degeneration. Dr. Sarah Wolff is a residency trained low vision optometrist, and Dr. Eric Ikeda is a neuro optometrist helping patients following strokes or traumatic brain injury. When you schedule an eye exam for macular degeneration at our office, we will take the time to thoroughly examine your eyes and share ideas with you that are important in preventing eye disease. Call us at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule an eye exam today.
Magnification can be extremely beneficial for someone with vision loss from diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and other ocular conditions.
When people think about magnification, they think about handheld magnifiers. However there are many options for magnification that provide additional benefits for certain people.
A handheld magnifying device can be difficult to hold for elderly people for long periods of time. If that is the case, your low vision optometrist may recommend high power reading glasses.
For some people high powered magnifying reading glasses can be uncomfortable as it requires holding the thing that you want magnified close to your eyes. For a lot of people, holding an object very close to their eyes is not very comfortable or makes their arms tired.
What are telescopic glasses?
Telescopic reading glasses have two lenses that provide high magnification and these allow you to hold the material farther away. The two lenses allow you to hold the reading material further apart. When you read from a page with telescopic glasses, you can hold it back further in a similar way to when you are reading normally. The magnification is also adjustable. Despite their low magnification, they do provide a full range of view. These are similar to a pair of magnified reading glasses, but they use a different technology.
Are telescopic glasses effective for everyone?
The answer always depends on the task and the goal. Sometimes it's getting past the realization that one device may not work for every person and kind of recognizing that low vision devices have a range of vision. Therefore, when we see a patient at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach, we are very goal-oriented and task-specific when it comes to our low vision evaluation. That enables us to provide the recommendation that best suits the lifestyle, visual needs, and visual ability of each individual.
Why schedule a low vision exam at our Los Angeles Low Vision Clinic?
Many people come to us after purchasing magnifiers online, only to realize that the product does not provide what the individual needs. At our practice, our residency trained low vision optometrist, Dr. Sarah Wolff, spends time with each patient to understand their visual goals and tasks that are most impacted by their vision. Then Dr. Wolff can better direct the patient to the appropriate low vision devices that can provide life changing visual improvement. For some patients a handheld magnifier is exactly what they need, while others will benefit more from magnified reading glasses, and yet others from telescopic glasses. There are a myriad of choices available today, from handheld devices, to glasses with magnification, to high-tech visual aids, our goal is to ensure that each patient walks out with the knowledge of what tools and devices can best help them.
Call us today at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule a low vision evaluation at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach, located in Bellflower.
Low vision optometrists are different from general optometrists. In both a comprehensive eye exam and a low vision evaluation, the focus of the eye exam is to figure out the patient's vision and how to help them see better. In addition both a low vision optometrist and a general care optometrist monitor the ocular health and provide relief from any visual discomfort.
The difference of a low vision optometrist is the solution
For a routine care optometrist the solutions to help patients see better are pretty straight forward. Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and laser eye surgery are the standard correction methods used. However someone with low vision is not able to be helped with standard vision correction methods, and this is where the specialty of a low vision optometrist comes into play. In the case of someone who cannot see 100% with normal vision correction methods, it may be necessary to think outside of the box to think of ways to help them see better. Low vision optometrists do more than prescribe standard glasses; they perform tests beyond whether a patient can read a letter, or if they can discern certain contrasts. A low vision optometrist has undergone special training to understand the unique vision constraints of a low vision patient as well as the myriad of ever changing solutions that are available. Their primary job is to help guide the low vision patient on the best devices, optics, and tools that will allow the patient to achieve the most of their remaining vision.
When someone is low vision, there is no one pair of glasses that gives them perfect vision
Many times patients with low vision, or a family member will call or visit our office in Bellflower and think that there is a simple solution to regain perfect vision. Unfortunately that is not the case. Each low vision device or optics will provide a solution for a specific focal distance and use case. For example for someone with macular degeneration who has lost some of their central vision the solution for reading (near distance) is not going to provide a good solution for driving (far distance). Low vision optometrists are very interested in their patients' goals. There is no doubt that everyone wishes to see 20/20, but low vision optometrists are interested in what the patient struggles with the most and how to solve the most important things for each patient. Whether they want to read scores on TV more clearly or read the newspaper without difficulty, use the computer or drive, there are usually solutions for specific focal distances and situations. There is a lot more focus on the task at hand that patients find difficult to do because their vision isn’t perfect 20/20. In comparison to a regular eye exam, a comprehensive low vision exam is much more thorough and takes 2-3 times longer. In many cases a person with low vision will come in for more than one visit.
Why is it important to spend more time with a low vision exam?
During a low vision exam one of the goals is to educate the patient and their family members who accompany them about the specifics of their vision loss, the ways it may impact their life, and the many different resources, tools, devices, and optics that are available. Having guidance when you lose some of your vision is crucial to better coping with the changes
Our Low Vision Optometrist in Los Angeles
At Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach our residency trained low vision optometrist, Dr. Sarah Wolff, sees patients from the greater Los Angeles area who have vision loss. She is passionate about helping people with macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, stargardts, retinitis pigmentosa, best disease, strokes, and vision loss due to any other kind of eye disease. Dr. Wolff takes her time with each patient, assessing the remaining vision, helping the patient and their loved ones better understand the impact of the eye disease on their vision, assessing the patient's visual goals, and providing guidance on the best tools, magnification, lighting, glasses, and resources to help them achieve their visual goals. Call our office at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule a low vision exam.
Living with vision loss, tips and challenges from a Los Angeles Low Vision Optometrist
Those with low vision have a variety of challenges to overcome as they learn to live with their condition. Although diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent further loss of vision, there are steps you can take on your own to prevent injury, regain independence, and make life more comfortable. In this blog Dr. Sarah Wolff, our residency trained low vision optometrist serving the greater Los Angeles low vision population shares some strategies.
One of the tips that are usually given to people who are just beginning to lose their vision, or even their family members who have a loved one who is losing their vision, is to use tools and tips to improve contrast. When a person starts to lose their vision from diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, and other vision conditions, contrast sensitivity is often impacted. It is much easier to see dark food on white plate than it is to see dark food on a dark plate. A white placemat makes it much easier to blue on cups, since it has a high contrast. It is also helpful when writing, if you use a darker type of pen on white paper, you can see the print a lot better than if you're using just a regular ballpoint pen. Similarly, a larger font will enable you to write and read a letter more easily and will not make you struggle as you would with a smaller font. Even though it may seem simple, it greatly reduces the difficulty of seeing it.
Contrast settings on electronic devices
If you're using a device, you can enhance the picture by adding colors since a white background is often very bright for someone with some vision loss. It can even be reversed to create a white lettering on a black background. Some people prefer yellow lettering on a black background. There are a lot of options to choose from there that you can play around with too, especially if you are new to vision loss. Keep in mind that every person's vision loss impacts their color contrast sensitivity differently, play around with the settings to see what makes it easier for you to see.
Handheld magnifying lenses and magnifying glasses for vision loss
For someone with low vision, a magnifying lens is perhaps the most important tool, since it helps them read and do detail work. There are two primary types of magnification that can help a person with vision loss. The most well known kind of magnification is handheld magnification. The other is glasses that include more magnification. One of the major benefits of glasses with higher magnification is that it leaves the patients hands free. Furthermore they can be worn at all times or simply kept hanging from your neck like a pair of reading glasses. Many magnifiers have lights or glare-blocking filters. They come in different sizes and strengths. One of the roles of a low vision optometrist is to help the patient navigate the options and understand what type of magnification will help them achieve the best result visually and be best suited for their goals.
It is imperative that people with low vision have plenty of light in their homes and any area where they spend time doing tasks that require great vision such as their dining room table, where they read, their desk, and at work. Brighter lighting can help someone with vision loss move freely and enjoy activities such as reading, sewing, playing cards, and much more. Whenever possible, open shades to let in natural light. For general lighting, look for overhead fixtures with strong bulbs and easy-to-access switches. During the evening hours, pay attention to dimly lit corners and stairs; motion-sensor nightlights will come in handy.
Many patients love adjustable full spectrum stand lights that they can position near their reading area or anywhere where they need extra visual clarity. A low vision optometrist will help guide the patient on the best kind of lighting to meet their lifestyle and visual ability.
Schedule a low vision exam in Los Angeles with Dr. Wolff, a residency trained low vision optometrist
Dr. Wolff has extensive experience and a passion for helping people with vision loss improve their vision, regain their independence, and enjoy the tasks that they loved before vision loss. Dr. Wolff works with every patient and their families to help them understand their vision loss better and navigate the myriad of options available to them to improve their vision. Schedule a low vision exam with Dr. Wolff today, call as at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] today.
Visual field testing can be done in a variety of ways. It is an important tool for glaucoma and other eye conditions which can cause damage to the visual field.
How does a visual field test work?
A visual field test can be something as simple as an eye doctor's screening test during an eye examination. They can also perform a threshold visual field test. In general, they try to find any particular areas of visual field, which is loss of some of your peripheral vision. This involves looking straight ahead at a target on the test, and then telling them, usually using a button, if you notice an object to the side or the periphery. It's a quick and simple screening test. Basically, they want you to be able to see most of the objects in your peripheral vision. They may extend the test if they see you missed a few objects on your side. This enables them to determine if either eye has any potential vision issues. Each eye is examined separately, so as to avoid any overlap.
What conditions can cause visual field defects?
There are a number of conditions that can cause specific types of visual field defects:
Hemianopsia: Certain types of traumatic brain injuries can lead to a loss of visual field, for instance if you suffered a stroke, you may suffer from a condition called hemianopsia, in which each eye misses one side of the field. If you have hemianopsia, you can see only one side of someone's face when looking directly at them and you won't be able to see the other side of their face unless they move into the field of view you can see.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma and other conditions can also cause visual field loss, although you might not notice it right away. If it progresses or advances, it starts to tunnel in or close in. Usually an eye doctor can spot certain patterns early on, such as where a nerve has died off and where a visual field has deteriorated.
Diabetic retinopathy: If you have diabetic retinopathy, you can have scotomas which are basically patches or areas of vision where you can not see well. A lot of times in the treatment of proliferative diabetic retinopathy, where now you get a lot of new vessels that are now so weak that they're bleeding. And when you do that, they do a laser procedure on the eye, or on the retina. Which then prevents any further vision loss, but while the laser does what it is supposed to do, it also disrupts the retina as well which can cause you to have some residual visual field loss.
Amblyopia (lazy eye): There are many conditions that can cause visual field loss, one of the most common ones is lazy eye or amblyopia. If you have amblyopia, otherwise known as lazy eye, where the brain favors one of your eyes, it does not mean you don't see at all in your periphery, but it may impact your full field of vision. There may be some difficulty in seeing the periphery as well as someone without amblyopia, since the brain is relying on vision of one eye. This doesn't always mean you're going to have issues but in some cases it can cause functional vision problems on the side of your weaker eye.
Other conditions that cause loss of visual fields: There are other conditions that can impact peripheral vision, which is why we screen all patients to detect any visual field deficits. Some of those conditions include high blood pressure, age related macular degeneration, Multiple sclerosis, tumors of the optic nerve, degenerative myopia, cataracts, stargardt, nutritional deficits, and exposure to toxins.
Schedule an eye exam at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach
If you are concerned about potential loss of visual field, please call our office to schedule an eye exam at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"]. Our office, located in Bellflower, is equipped with advanced technology to diagnose a wide range of conditions that can cause field loss. As a specialty center, our doctors have advanced training and certifications in low vision and neuro optometric rehabilitation, which enables us to provide a holistic approach to treatment for any cause of field loss.
Diabetes patients are at risk for diabetic damage to their eyes; therefore, they should have a special eye exam so that all aspects of their eyes and vision can be monitored and high definition photos of the retina can be taken. Everyone with diabetes should have at least one in-depth eye exam per year, since diabetes can cause serious damage to the eyes.
What does a diabetic eye exam consist of?
A diabetic eye exam always involves your vision and prescription being checked by an eye doctor. Then, in the health part of the exam, which is the most important if you have diabetes, the eye doctor will check your eyes for cataracts because if your diabetes is not under control, you may have advanced cataracts. Younger people tend to develop cataracts earlier if they are diabetic, so they should be checked for that. Afterward, they dilate the eyes so that they can see more clearly inside. Looking specifically at the retina, the retina has a vasculature that supplies oxygen to the retina both in front and behind the retina. By looking in the eye, they can view the vasculature and determine whether diabetes has caused any stress.
Additionally, they are looking for leaks in the vessels. They are looking for areas of edema and areas that may be starving of oxygen since when you have too much sugar in your blood, it is easy for parts of your retina, and that happens all over your body, to become oxygen-starved. It's at that point that they start to see changes in the retina, which is why a diabetic retinal eye exam is so important.
Does an eye doctor detect changes in diabetic patients manually or through photos?
An eye doctor performing a diabetic eye exam without photos would see everything they need to see and document accordingly. But when they have the photos available, they can document those changes in the best way possible. Let's say a patient visits an eye doctor and is diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, so the eye doctor notes would describe a certain level of diabetic retinopathy, and these photos will demonstrate this. It's a little more information they can share with the primary care physician. Furthermore, they are able to compare the photos when the patient visits again to see if anything has changed.
Is it true that an eye doctor detects changes in a diabetic patient before an endocrinologist does?
When an eye doctor examines your eyes, they actually look at the vasculature, and that is the area that is affected. This is a vascular condition. If the sugars are too high or fluctuate too much, they can detect changes in that sooner than most other doctors can because they are looking directly at the vessels. They can look into a patient’s eyes without having to inject dye or cut them open. It is right in front of them. So again, those photos are important because they let them know the status of the vascular health in your eyes and that’s going throughout your entire body.
Does an eye doctor send medical records to your primary care doctor?
The answer depends. There are doctors who, if you don't have diabetic retinopathy, just want to make sure you're getting your eyes checked. In cases of diabetic retinopathy, based on the severity, an eye doctor will share the information with your primary care physician as well.
Schedule a diabetic eye exam in Bellflower
At Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach we take pride in offering the most advanced medical eye care available. Our office has advanced technology to take ultra high definition imagery of the inner eye and detect minute changes that may indicate that your diabetes is causing cellular stress. Our eye doctors, Dr. Ikeda FCOVD, DPNAP and Dr. Sarah Wolff, have extensive experience and specialization in advanced medical eye care. We invite you to schedule your diabetic eye exam in our office by calling us at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"].
At Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach we recommend vision therapy when we are certain that it would be of great help to your child. There are clear guidelines that are scientifically validated and taught at all optometry schools that indicate when a child (or adult) would be helped by vision therapy, otherwise we would not recommend it. Vision therapy involves working with both your vision therapist as well as our functional optometrist to create an individualized program that improves functional vision performance. Our eye doctor, Dr. Eric Ikeda FCOVD, DPNAP, carefully monitors your child’s progress throughout the length of therapy.
Does vision therapy work the same for everyone?
Vision therapy is different for each individual. Vision therapy and rehabilitation require a diagnosis and a plan, and those plans must be very structured and tailored to each patient. The vision therapy a child gets is not general vision therapy, but a very specific plan designed to help this child perform better in everything else they do in life, including learning and sports.
What role does vision therapy play in the life of a child?
It is not surprising that children acknowledge when they have a problem in school or while playing sports and wish to be assisted. The issue is that most of the time they do not realize that the difficulties that they face when reading, doing school work, or playing sports, is a vision issue. After a comprehensive functional vision exam with Dr. Ikeda, our Vision therapists work with our functional optometrist to come up with an individual plan for your child. Keeping your child compliant, following through with activities they are expected to complete at home, and monitoring their progress is very important to ensure that therapy is successful. Child’s progress is also monitored when they come in for periodic progress evaluations with Dr. Ikeda. It is important to Dr. Ikeda sees how the vision therapy transfers well to the goals the child identifies, whether it is to be able to read better or be better at sports. All those goals are important to the eye doctor because they are important to the child.
Schedule a functional vision exam at our Los Angeles optometry office
Our state of the art eye care clinic located in Bellflower, just north of Long Beach, provides advanced eye care with a focus on functional vision. Dr. Ikeda is a world renowned functional optometrist who has served in senior leadership positions with the Neuro Optometric Association, the American Optometric Association, and the Optometric Extension Program Foundation. He has lectured extensively on functional vision, and continues to serve as Clinical Associate Professor of the Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry.
He had launched the Neuro Optometry Clinic at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center and then later, began the Neuro Optometry Clinic at Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation. He serves as a neuro visual rehabilitation consultant for Winways Transitional Living Center in Orange, Care Meridian (Artesia, La Habra Heights, Garden Grove, and Cowan Heights), and Providence Little Company of Mary Hospital, San Pedro.
Call our office at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule a functional eye exam today.
Amblyopia is commonly referred to as lazy eye. A lack of coordination between the two eyes causes this condition. As each eye receives a different picture, the brain ignores or suppresses the image from the other weaker eye in order to compensate. Typically amblyopia is a result of a variety of factors.
Types and causes
The most common causes of amblyopia are either refractive or strabismic.
- This is most often caused by refractive error, or having unequal refractive errors in each eye. This is known as anisometropia, where each eye may have different refractive powers. As a result, one eye has a better ability to focus than the other, and the eye that does not focus as well becomes amblyopic.
- In addition, there is deprivation amblyopia, in which an external factor such as cataracts or ptosis (droopy eyelid) prevents one of the eyes from seeing clearly causing the brain to favor the other eye.
- During pregnancy, the fetus can become affected and cause toxic amblyopia.
- Strabismic amblyopia occurs when the eyes are not aiming in the same visual direction. Consequently, the eye that is off axis is not looking at the target in regard, becomes amblyopic.
A child with amblyopia may:
- Frequently bump into something on a particular side.
- Experience a large difference between your farsighted and nearsighted vision.
- Give preference to one side of the body.
- Have droopy eyelids.
- Squint a lot or close one eye.
- Tilt their head to one side.
A typical treatment approach for these is an evaluation assessment so that an accurate diagnosis can be made for the cause of the amblyopia. Historically when an eye doctor determines the cause of amblyopia, the most common treatment approach that has been shared with a number of patients has been patching or blurring the stronger eye with eye drops, which has been done historically for years with varying degrees of success.
The success rate of the treatment for amblyopia varies a lot because it depends on how well the child applies the patch and how often the parent or teacher reminds him or her to do so. Furthermore this form of treatment only addresses the root cause of the amblyopia but stops short of integrating the weaker eye into a binocular (two eye) visual system. The newer methodology for treating amblyopia is called monocular fixation in binocular field (MFBF). This is a holistic treatment where the brain is taught to integrate the weaker eye's input in coordination with the stronger eye. This treatment is considered the gold standard for amblyopia and uses a combination of occlusion (patching or drops) and in office vision therapy.
Amblyopia Treatment in Las Angeles
Dr. Ikeda FCOVD, DPNAP is a leading optometrist in the field of functional vision, and has extensive experience in treating amblyopia. His experience includes serving as the president of the Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation Association and the Optometric Extension Program Foundation. He was appointed Clinical Associate Professor of the Western University of Health Sciences, College of Optometry and the university awarded him with the Founder’s Award in 2010. Dr. Ikeda has lectured locally and nationally and continues to provide in-services to various professional organizations and rehabilitation facilities.
At Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach, located in Bellflower, we provide advanced treatment of Amblyopia through in office therapy. Call our office at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule a functional eye exam with Dr. Ikeda.
There are at least five reasons why tinted lenses are prescribed: comfort, vision enhancement, fashion, concealment, and protection. In the morning, it can be uncomfortable to drive towards the rising sun. A golf ball can easily get lost in the sky. Wearing sunglasses may help tired eyes. Long-term exposure to the sun's UV rays and short wavelength blue light can damage eye structures. For a patient with vision loss tinted lenses can often make a major difference towards improving the contrast of colors and subsequently their day to day vision.
Do tints help with certain visual disorders?
Different diseases can impact our visual abilities differently and therefore certain tints may be more suited for specific conditions. For example someone with glaucoma will perceive light differently than someone with macular degeneration However, with that said, sometimes patients with the same disease can have different preferences of tints. During an eye exam for low vision, a low vision optometrist will demonstrate different tints and assess what if any tint the patient prefers. In particular, the low vision optometrist is looking to see how the tint enhances the patients vision, both for reading and distance vision. While there are general rules about what tints can help different patients, no two patients will always find benefits with the same tint. As a rule however a low vision optometrist wouldn't put someone in a dark gray sunglass if they have trouble discerning light from dark objects - meaning that they cannot distinguish light from dark. This would make it that much harder for them to see. When patients use a brown amber tent, or even a yellow orange tent, the contrast actually increases. This makes it easier to see targets in the distance.
Are tints recommended for everyone?
Some patients benefit greatly from it. However, some people try these and don't see any difference. So it's really one of those cases where at the evaluation, it's more about informing and showing patients what is available and how things can change. Again, it is truly an individual process to see what is actually helpful to a patient when an eye doctor evaluates them.
In what colors do tinted lenses come?
Tinted lenses come in a variety of colors and shades, and can be solid or gradient.
Different color tints are usually found to be beneficial for specific diseases, for example:
The above colors are general guidelines on the colors of tint that are most effective for specific conditions. Call [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule an eye exam at our Bellflower practice and improve your vision with filtered tints.
Understanding people's struggles is vital to enabling the patient to have the most meaningful improvement to their vision. A person with impaired vision who still wishes to drive can talk to their eye doctor about getting a telescope that might work and which they can use to drive if their vision is at least within the limits of the state. Enabling them to regain something that had significantly impaired their independence. When a patient undergoes a low vision evaluation, it is the low vision optometrists job to explain that while they may not be able to see clearly with regular glasses, that does not mean that they are unable to regain visual function in a way that allows them to do many of the tasks that they no longer are able to achieve. When it comes to driving, which is one of the more common goals of low vision patients, they oftentimes can use more specialized devices to get the vision required to drive. Even though these enhancements may not be the perfect pair of glasses that people always strive for, they can actually increase their independence to a point where they can do things on their own. Recognizing the limitations of the vision and then enhancing the vision that they have is also part of it.
Why can’t one pair of glasses solve every problem?
Each low vision device is optimized for a specific situation because of the way optics work. A pair of low vision reading glasses will help with reading but are not maximizing the patient's vision for other tasks like driving. While a pair of bioptic telescopes will help with driving, they will not help with reading. This is because the optics are designed for a specific focal distance and magnification, meaning that they will enable the patient to achieve major improvements to their daily functional vision for a specific use case. While many patients come in thinking that there is one pair of glasses that will fix everything, it is the low vision optometrist's job to explain that for someone with vision loss, there is no one magic solution, but there are great solutions that will enable them to achieve specific vision goals.
What can be done if you are struggling with vision loss?
It can be problematic for someone who has a problem with their vision. Their self-esteem can be affected if they struggle so much with something they used to be able to do without a thought in the past. Their interaction with others might also be affected. A low vision examination is crucial to let your eye doctor know your struggles, because they want to help, and as a rehabilitation service, they work on those goals to enable you to regain the independence and enjoyment from the tasks and goals that were no longer available to you after vision loss. It may not be perfect vision but it would be enough for the patient to allow them to do what they love and want to do without seeking assistance from others.
Call our office in Bellflower at [mbv name="token-practice-phone"] to schedule a low vision evaluation today.