Filters

Optical filters allow only certain parts of light to pass through which can be a very effective tool for a variety of optical uses, including vision therapy and for our main focus, low vision. There are colorful filters and polarized filters, each serving their own purpose and these features can be combined to make colorful polarized filters. The type of filter that the eye doctor recommends depends on a variety of factors, including the patients’ needs or whether it’s for outdoor or indoor use. By adding this tint to your low vision care, it can enable you to read more clearly, identify people’s faces, avoid falling and other accidents, and overall enhance your lifestyle. 

Filters in Bellflower

Color Filter Applications in Low Vision

Filters are available in different colors and are used in different ways, depending on the patient and the light conditions. The color of the filter is used as a selection system, allowing certain colors to pass through while preventing other colors from doing so.  In order to understand filters, it is important to note that there is scientific research behind colors and the way we perceive them. The rainbow as we know it has different colors due to different wavelengths of light (measured in nanometers, as seen below) that is visible to the human eye. Beyond the rainbow there are other wavelengths such as infrared on one end of the spectrum and ultraviolet on the other. You may have heard of filters available in glasses to filter out ultraviolet rays, and this is in order to protect our eyes from harmful wavelengths that are beyond the visible light spectrum.

 

The visible light spectrum can be seen as follows:

 

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Contrast enhancement

Yellow filters are instrumental in increasing contrast between the text or object that you’re looking at and its background. In addition to yellow, orange, amber and other short wavelength colors are used. Due to the fact that yellow is in the middle of the spectrum of visible light, the yellow filter separates between short wavelengths and long wavelengths, thereby increasing the contrast. Yellow tint is also used in Escoop glasses, recommended for people with early stages of age related macular degeneration. To learn more about this visual aid, please click here.

Who can benefit from contrast enhancement?

There are a variety of conditions that can affect contrast sensitivity. The traditional eye chart has good contrast with black letters on a white background, but not everything that we view in day to day life has a stark contrast between the target object or the text we’re reading, and the background around it. Some people have low contrast sensitivity, making it hard to distinguish between what they are reading and what is around it, especially if what they are viewing does not have good contrast to begin with. There are ways that eye doctors test a patient’s contrast sensitivity. One way is giving the patient an eye chart to read off of, which has low contrast between the letters and the background, as seen below:

 

Who can benefit from contrast enhancement?

There are certain conditions that reduce contrast sensitivity, these include, but are not limited to:

  • Cataract
  • Glaucoma
  • Age related macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Optic neuritis
  • Vitreous floaters
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Albinism 
  • Pathological myopia

Each condition will have a different effect on contrast sensitivity and each person will experience that in their own way, however there are certain filters that are good for certain conditions. For example, people with retinitis pigmentosa tend to struggle greatly with contrast sensitivity issues and studies have shown that yellow filters are very helpful for improving their visual abilities, especially in low illumination conditions.

Polaroid Filter Application in Low Vision

Glare Reduction

Polarizing filters are a special type of filter that help reduce glare in patients, preventing discomfort from the effects of glare. Many people complain of glare affecting their daily visual tasks, including people with cataract. It becomes very prevalent when one who suffers from glare is trying to drive, especially at night, and the lights on the road appear as glare. Polaroid filters can prevent accidents and promote safer driving. 

What are polarizing filters?

Polarizing filters block light coming in a horizontal direction, which is usually the direction of light waves that cause glare as it bounces off of bright surfaces such as water, snow or metal. Many people can benefit from polarizing filters, including skiers and people spending time in the sun, however it is recommended in the low vision field for those complaining of glare, including people who have had recently undergone eye surgery, such as cataract surgery.

Who can benefit from contrast enhancement?

Types of Filter Lenses

Lenses with filters are available in different forms in order to use them with your glasses. There are filters available as glasses without prescription lenses. There are also filters that fit over glasses which are ideal for patients who wear prescription glasses but do not need the filter at all times. An additional benefit is that it can fit on top of different frames for people who have more than one pair of glasses. There are clip-on lenses that are easily removable, user friendly, and are customized for a specific pair of frames.

There are also filters that can be incorporated into your glasses. There are different ways of doing this depending on various factors, including the material of your lenses, if they are plastic or glass. There are different features of filters that can be ordered with your glasses, including transitional filters where the tint varies depending on the lighting conditions of your surroundings. You may have seen this with glasses that appear to be regular, but then they become darker and look like sunglasses when you step into bright sunlight conditions.

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Summary

Filters can be a very instrumental tool to help people with low vision see clearer, due to various features such as contrast enhancement or glare reduction. Dr. Ikeda will be able to recommend the right filter for you and for your daily needs. You can click here to schedule your low vision consultation Book an Appointment .

 

Testimonials


  • 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.

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