Low vision optometrists

Published on
May 11, 2022

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 (562) 925-6591 to schedule a low vision exam. 



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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