CORONA, Calif., July 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Working on behalf of the millions of people with low vision or legal blindness is the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS), an organization of optometrists and ophthalmologists specializing in novel treatments, therapies and rehabilitative counseling. The academy's mission is to help people enjoy rewarding lives – lives full of hobbies and other pleasurable pursuits – despite diminished eyesight.
"Reading and writing, taking in a movie, playing or watching sports, and driving are just a few activities that people with normal vision take for granted," says Dr. Richard J. Shuldiner, low vision optometrist and founder of the IALVS. "Yet for someone with macular degeneration, glaucoma or a similar vision-limiting condition, the simplest of tasks can become difficult or dangerous, and finding pleasure in one's leisure time is a challenge."
Vision loss that interferes with beloved activities and pastimes has a severe impact on quality of life, yet many primary care physicians are not fully trained to address this aspect of a patient's well-being. During a low vision evaluation with an IALVS doctor, daily routines and hobbies anchor the conversation because the goal of care is primarily to help people keep doing everything they want to do.
Beyond a certain degree of vision loss, reading and writing become difficult and then impossible. Yet there are options available for those who want to continue reading or writing in spite of low vision. As part of a low vision evaluation, a doctor will ask questions and conduct tests to determine the appropriate solution to aid in these activities.
Another area where low vision has a profound impact is watching TV; many people with failing eyesight sit uncomfortably close to the screen to see the action, but this does more harm than good. A device like full diameter telescope low vision glasses can eliminate the need to sit close while providing viewers with a larger, more detailed image.
Of all the ways that low vision affects independence, the loss of driving privileges is perhaps the most upsetting. Driving is a symbol of freedom, and few people want to have others running errands or driving them around. Well-meaning family and friends can sometimes make those with vision problems feel too dependent, leading to frustration and strife. IALVS can match patients with DMV-certified handicapped driving instructors in every state to give low vision individuals the best chance to earn or keep their driver's license and consequently their independence.
Individualized treatments for low vision range from custom devices like spectacle telescopes and miniature telescope implants to counseling on nutrition and illumination. IALVS-trained specialists have experience working with all major causes of low vision and blindness, including macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and more.
The IALVS website has an entire page of inspirational success stories illustrating the profound difference improved vision can make in people's lives.
About the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists
The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) is committed to the realization that there is life after vision loss. By providing a comprehensive Low Vision patient evaluation, we strive to enhance the quality of life, independence and safety of our patients. We design, prescribe and dispense the highest quality, optically advanced, hands-free low vision devices available. We do this with compassion, integrity, education, innovation and professionalism.
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SOURCE International Academy of Low Vision Specialists