Authors
Teresa Poon, BSc, OD. T. Labreche, BSc, OD.

Beyond Eye Care – Low Vision Rehabilitation of a Patient with Recent-Onset Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy: A Case Report

publication date
2014-12-10
Category
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Abstract/Introduction

Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a maternally inherited mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) mutation that results in painless, sudden-onset, bilateral central vision loss and dyschromatopsia. Currently, there are no proven treatments to prevent or reverse the optic neuropathy in LHON. Accordingly, individualized rehabilitation services and assistive devices for low vision are crucial for helping people with LHON to regain independence and quality of life. This report describes the impact of multidisciplinary low vision rehabilitation on a young man with recent-onset LHON and emphasizes the importance of the provision of emotional support through counselling for low vision.


Conclusion/Results

Although there is no treatment for LHON at the present time, patients with LHON can continue their occupational and social activities. The key is to assess the patient’s level of functional vision and provide the appropriate assistive devices. Low vision care should be individualized, taking into consideration the personality of the patient and his or her environment. Most importantly, emotional support and counselling are an essential part of the successful care of a patient with low vision.


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  • 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!!


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  • 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.


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