Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION: I already have an ophthalmologist and optometrist- do I need to leave them to switch to a Low Vision eye doctor?

ANSWER: No, your current ophthalmologist and optometrist are key persons in your medical eye care.  You continue to see them while you are working with a Low Vision doctor.

QUESTION: My eye doctor said there is nothing more they can do to improve my vision- how can you?

ANSWER: An eye doctor usually says this when surgery or other treatments have been completed. There is no more medically that can be done but it is the perfect time to access Low Vision help.

QUESTION: I already had a refraction from my regular optometrist and they said I already have the strongest glasses possible.  How can Low Vision glasses help?

ANSWER: Low vision glasses start at where regular glasses end.  Once your vision no longer responds to regular eye glasses is when you learn there are many stronger options available in the world of Low Vision.

QUESTION: Will I be getting a pair of glasses at the end of my Low Vision rehabilitation?

ANSWER: There are hundreds of devices to help Low Vision patients see their best.  Some people find special reading or distance glasses most helpful. Some prefer or need prescription stand, hand, or video reading magnifiers.  Others may even find that proper lighting or glare control is more helpful than anything else.  After you have worked with the Low Vision doctor and low vision occupational therapists, you will know what works best for YOU.  So it could be special glasses, or it could be prescription magnifiers, or one of a hundred other devices.  Many times the other devices let you see much better than strong glasses.

QUESTION: I already have a magnifier that I bought at the drugstore it doesn't help.  Does this mean I can't use a magnifier?

ANSWER: Any magnifier you buy in a store is usually very weak.  Stores are not selling strong prescription strengths magnifiers.  If you have an eye problem that is causing Low Vision you need a magnifier that is strong enough for your vision.  This is easily determined when you are working with a low vision doctor. 

QUESTION: I found a catalog of Low Vision devices.  What strengths magnifier should I order?

ANSWER: There is no way to answer this question without a Low Vision eye exam.  The exam will tell us what strengths magnification you need. But wouldn't you also like to know if there might be something better than a magnifier?  Maybe you respond better to stronger glasses, or video magnifiers, or maybe proper lighting is the better solution to your problem.  These are all options you will never know about without seeing a Low Vision doctor.

QUESTION: I have the opportunity to purchase a video reading machine from a seminar at my retirement community.  Should I just do that?

ANSWER:  No. Out of 1000 patients who completed their low vision program at Astorino Vision Rehabilitation, only 20 video machines were prescribed.  There are hundreds of other options available that you should also be aware of via a Low Vision examination.

QUESTION: Is it true a Low Vision doctor can help patient's get free 411?

ANSWER: Yes, some phone companies waive the fees for using directory assistance. Your Low Vision doctor will be able to provide the necessary information in a letter to the phone company that will enable you to receive these services under the disability act.  This is just one of many available resources available for a visually impaired person that you learn about through a low vision rehab program.

QUESTION: Will my insurance pay for the Low Vision devices?

ANSWER: No, which is another excellent reason to see an eye doctor and Low Vision therapists who will let you work with all of the devices so you know if they are going to work for you.  If your insurance is not covering the device at least you will know that it is helping you before you buy it.

QUESTION: Why haven't I, my friends, or my family ever heard of Low Vision before now?  

ANSWER: We at Astorino Vision Rehabilitation agree.  Low Vision Rehabilitation is the best kept secret in health care!  So help us spread the word!

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