Lighting as Part of A Low Vision Evaluation

Published on
September 25, 2022

A low vision evaluation is in some ways similar to a regular eye exam, and in other ways entirely different. During a low vision evaluation our residency trained low vision optometrist will assess the complete functioning of the visual system while also helping the patient understand more about their condition and the variety of tools to improve their remaining vision and improve their quality of life. For example lighting plays an important role in the lives of people who suffer from low vision. Proper lighting allows them to do their everyday activities without any problems. Therefore, helping the patient understand the importance and tools to improve lighting is a part of a low vision evaluation. This is one example that illustrates how different a low vision evaluation is from a typical eye exam. 

What is low vision?

Low vision is exactly what it sounds like. The condition makes it difficult to do everyday tasks, including deciphering colors, reading, driving, and recognizing people. Glasses, surgery, or medication cannot correct or reverse low vision. However, you can overcome it with the help of assistive devices, enhanced lighting, and therapy that enables you to continue to enjoy activities you once thought were impossible.

Are you experiencing low vision?

You may need to see a low vision optometrist such as Dr. Sarah Wolff if you experience any of these symptoms and are not able to improve them through standard solutions such as glasses or contact lenses.

  • Having trouble seeing things directly through your center of vision
  • Difficulty adjusting to contrasting colors
  • Decreased peripheral vision
  • Night vision problems
  • Blurry or fuzzy vision
  • Sensitivity to glare
  • Difficulty adjusting your vision when you move from indoors to outdoors and vice versa

How is lighting discussed in a low vision evaluation?

Dr. Wolff's low vision evaluations cater to each individual's needs. She explains what type of lighting is required for the tasks they're doing. If you have one eye that sees slightly better than the other, ideally, you want the light to come from that side, since that is where your best vision is. You also don't want the lighting to come from above and cast shadows or glare. That light should be focused on the tasks you're looking at so it enhances without actually causing glare. 

Even just the lighting around your home can make a big difference. In order to avoid constantly bringing in additional lighting, you should improve lighting around your house.

What role does a low vision doctor play in modifying lighting? 

Low vision optometrist Dr. Wolff demonstrates different lighting conditions in the office to her patients. The goal is to educate people to show how much difference lighting can make. As a result, patients can better understand and assess the lighting conditions in different rooms at home once they return home. Her job also includes connecting people to other resources, whether it's someone coming to their home or even setting up a Zoom call to talk about their home's lighting.

She focuses on task lamps and floor lamps in the office since they are easier to transfer to the home. She also shows the patients magnification options that include lighting in them and demonstrates to the patient how lighting improves the ability to use magnification. 

Schedule a low vision evaluation in Los Angeles

Low vision aids and good lighting may benefit your loved one if they have trouble going about their daily activities. Our Los Angeles Low Vision clinic is under the leadership of residency trained low vision optometrist, Dr. Sarah Wolff.  If you are interested in scheduling a low vision exam, please call (562) 925-6591


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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