Evaluation and Management
Evaluation and Management
Are you experiencing significant vision loss that cannot be corrected with traditional options such as eyeglasses or contact lenses? This may be a sign of low vision, a condition that can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks like reading, writing, and watching television.
Dr. Vijay Shenai at True Focus Eye Care specializes in low vision rehabilitation, which is the process of restoring functional ability and independence for people with low vision. Dr. Shenai’s passion for low vision started long before optometry school when his father suffered vision loss after a hit-and-run accident. Against all odds, his father made an almost full recovery. However, the incident left him with permanent vision loss in one eye and temporary vision loss in the other, as well as brain damage that impaired his reflexes.
As a result of his injuries, Dr. Shenai’s father needed extensive physical, occupational, and visual therapy to regain his independence. Dr. Shenai was able to assist and witness his father’s progress, finding joy in seeing him regain his independence through hard work and practice. During his time at Nova Southeastern University of Optometry, Dr. Shenai completed a rotation at the Lighthouse for the Visually Disabled and Blind in Broward County, which reignited his passion for helping patients with low vision. Today, he runs the Low Vision Clinic at True Focus Eye Care with the same level of care and dedication for all patients in need of this service.
What causes low vision?
Low vision can be caused by a variety of eye diseases and conditions, including:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of low vision in people over the age of 60. AMD is caused by the deterioration of the macula, which is the central part of the retina responsible for detailed vision.
- Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss.
- Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the blood vessels in the retina, leading to vision loss.
- Some eye diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa, can be inherited and lead to low vision.
- Physical trauma to the eye, such as from a sports injury or car accident, can result in low vision.
- Some neurological conditions, such as stroke, can affect the visual pathways in the brain and result in low vision.
- Certain medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, can also cause low vision.
Low vision evaluation
The first step in receiving customized low vision care designed to help you live your best life is to meet with a trained professional. The low vision evaluation includes a functional assessment, visual acuity testing, visual field testing, contrast sensitivity testing, color vision testing, and refraction. After the evaluation, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your options and may even receive some personalized referrals for extra services. We also might suggest low vision aids to help improve your vision.
Low vision functional assessment
A low vision functional assessment is a type of evaluation that measures how well a person with low vision can perform various daily activities. During the assessment, Dr. Shenai will identify the specific functional challenges that are affecting you and the best ways to help improve your ability to perform daily tasks.
Dr. Shenai will also take the time to understand your daily routines and habits. He may ask you a series of questions about activities like preparing meals, cleaning your house, reading, using the computer, and moving around your home and community. This information helps us gain insight into your level of independence and any challenges you may face. In some cases, he may also observe you performing these tasks to assess your abilities more accurately.
After completing the assessment, Dr. Shenai will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that fits your unique needs. This plan may include specialized visual aids, adaptive technologies, or training on alternative techniques to perform daily activities more efficiently. In addition, he may refer you to other professionals or services to provide you with additional support and resources to help you overcome any functional limitations.
Visual acuity testing
Visual acuity testing is an important part of a low vision evaluation. It measures how well a person can see specific letters or symbols on an eye chart at a certain distance. During a low vision evaluation, Dr. Shenai typically uses visual acuity testing to assess your remaining visual abilities and determine the extent of your visual impairment.
Visual field testing
Visual field testing is a type of diagnostic test that assesses a person’s peripheral or side vision. We often use it to detect and monitor the progression of eye diseases such as glaucoma, which can cause gradual vision loss in the peripheral areas of the visual field.
Contrast sensitivity testing
Contrast sensitivity testing evaluates your ability to distinguish between different shades of light and dark.
Color vision testing
Color vision testing tests your ability to perceive and differentiate between different colors.
During your low vision evaluation, Dr. Shenai will use a process called refraction to determine your eyeglass prescription. He will use a specialized instrument called a phoropter to measure the refractive error of your eyes. The process is painless and simply involves looking through the phoropter at an eye chart while our doctor changes lenses to find the combination that provides the clearest vision. By measuring your refractive error, Dr. Shenai can determine how much your eyes bend light and how it affects your vision. This will allow him to provide you with a customized prescription that can improve your visual acuity and help you see the world more clearly.
In a low vision evaluation, we use refraction to improve a patient’s vision as much as possible by reducing the impact of their refractive error. Dr. Shenai may recommend glasses or other visual aids, such as magnifying lenses or prisms, to help compensate for your refractive error. The goal is to provide you with the best possible visual outcome and improve your overall quality of life.
Education about your options
After your assessments, Dr. Shenai will discuss your unique condition with you and share the different options available. Low vision therapy has made a difference in many people’s lives, allowing them to maintain their independence and improve their quality of life.
He will also provide customized referrals to services in your community that may be helpful as a part of your overall low vision treatment plan. These may include support groups, employment training programs, or visual therapists who specialize in your specific eye condition. By working together, we can develop a plan that fits your needs and goals.
Preparing for your appointment
Before your visit, please fill out the patient questionnaire below and bring it along with you to your appointment. This will help us get to know you better and identify any specific issues you may be experiencing due to your vision loss. For example, here are some common vision tasks that our patients find challenging, even with their eyeglasses:
- Reading and writing
- Watching TV
- Recognizing faces
- Navigating unfamiliar places
- Reading price tags, menus, and medicine bottles
- Seeing oven dials & settings
What to bring with you
Please remember to bring any eyeglasses, sunglasses, or magnifying glasses that you’re currently using. Additionally, it would be helpful if you could bring any items related to the task you’re having the most difficulty with (as listed on the patient questionnaire). For example, if reading a specific book is challenging, please bring that book along to your appointment. Or if cross-stitching is posing a problem, please bring the needles, pattern, thread, directions, etc. We’re here to help you find solutions that work best for you!
Schedule a low vision evaluation
At True Focus Eye Care, Dr. Shenai provides low vision evaluations at our location in Port Richey, FL. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about how we help patients with low vision live life to the fullest. It all starts with an evaluation, so schedule yours today.