The University of Nebraska Medical Center is now running a “low vision” satellite clinic in Sioux City. Doctor John Shepherd, with the Omaha hospital’s Center for Visual Rehabilitation, says low vision afflicts many hundreds of Iowans.
“Low vision is vision loss that cannot be corrected with regular glasses, medical or surgical treatments and is severe enough to interfere with a person’s ability to perform daily activities, such as reading, shopping and writing,” Dr. Shepherd says. “The most common causes of low vision are macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.” He explains how the new clinic in northwest Iowa will serve clients.
“At the initial visit, your visual goals will be identified and a low vision physician will determine the devices and training activities that will help you to meet these goals,” Shepherd says. “Subsequent visits with an occupational therapist may help you maximize the use of your remaining vision and lead a more independent life.” He says the new clinic will be serving a wide spectrum of patients with low vision issues.
“If you are having difficulty with activities like reading, driving, seeing the television or managing your finances,” he says, “our low vision professionals can help you to develop visual skills, adaptive strategies and use optical devices, such as magnifiers to better participate in your favorite activities.” The National Institutes of Health estimates 3.2-million Americans have low vision and the number is projected to double by 2050 with the aging of the population.
Most people with low vision are over 65. UNMC also runs low vision clinics in Omaha, Lincoln and Hastings, Nebraska.