Dean McGee Eye Institute Low Vision Rehabilitation Service Unique to Oklahoma
February is Low Vision Month
OKLAHOMA CITY— Three million Americans age 40 and older are visually impaired with a medical condition classified as low vision. That number is expected to nearly double by 2030, as the last baby boomers turn 65. People with low vision have difficulty seeing even with regular eye glasses, contact lenses, medications or surgery. .
The leading causes of vision loss in older adults are age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract and glaucoma. Among younger people, vision loss is most often caused by inherited eye conditions, infectious and autoimmune eye diseases or trauma.
The treatment for people with permanent vision loss involves utilization of adaptive strategies and compensatory approaches to foster independence and improve their overall quality of life. The Dean McGee Eye Institute’s (DMEI’s) low vision rehabilitation service combines the expertise of its board-certified low vision ophthalmologist, Dr. Rebecca Morgan, with that of other rehabilitation professionals available through both public and private organizations to accomplish this goal.
“We teach our patients how to maximize the potential use of their remaining vision. This may include helping them learn how to use ’off-center’ areas of vision effectively,” said Dr. Morgan. “Magnification with devices such as simple magnifiers, close-focus reading glasses, electronic video magnifiers and even implantation of a tiny telescope in the eye is a mainstay of low vision management.”
DMEI patients with permanent visual impairment first undergo a comprehensive low vision evaluation by Dr. Morgan to determine the impact of vision loss on the individual and assess the extent of remaining vision. This information guides the low vision team (which may be composed of an optometrist, occupational therapists, assistive technologists and orientation and mobility instructors as well as Dr. Morgan) in terms of formulating the best solutions to meet an individual’s visual goals.
This fall, the Dean McGee Eye Institute will host the 13th Annual Macular Degeneration/Low Vision/Glaucoma Seminar at the Samis Education Center on the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center campus. Those experiencing low vision will hear about the latest in adaptive devices and low vision technology from faculty and occupational therapists.
About the Dean McGee Eye Institute
The Dean McGee Eye Institute is dedicated to serving all Oklahomans and the global community through excellence and leadership in patient care, education and vision research. It is one of the largest and most respected eye institutes in the United States and houses the Department of Ophthalmology for the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. Its research and training programs are among the most highly regarded in the country. Nineteen of the Institute’s ophthalmologists are listed in the Best Doctors in America; its Director of Vision Research is a Past President of the International Society for Eye Research, Past Vice President of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and a recipient of ARVO’s prestigious Proctor Medal; two members of the faculty are recent or current directors of the American Board of Ophthalmology; three serve or have recently served on the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology; one is Vice Chair of the Residency Review Committee in Ophthalmology for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education; and one is Immediate Past President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a Past President of the American Glaucoma Society. For more information, visit www.dmei.org.