CORONA, Calif., Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- This February, which is designated Age-Related Macular Degeneration Month, also marks a shift in best practices for treating the vision-robbing disease. A growing number of patients, their families and healthcare providers see great value in choosing two different doctors to focus on different aspects of the disease. In addition to one doctor to treat the medical condition causing loss of vision, another helps manage the effects permanent vision loss has on lives.
According to Richard Shuldiner, OD, founder of The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists, a medical team for a macular degeneration patient ideally includes both a retinologist, (an ophthalmologist with advanced training in retinal diseases) to provide expert medical treatment and monitoring of AMD, as well as a low vision specialist, a licensed doctor of optometry or ophthalmology who has received advanced training in helping manage the visual issues surrounding macular degeneration.
It is an eye-opener to many AMD patients and their families that the same doctor treating their disease would, most often, not be the best professional to manage their condition called low vision, a term used when vision cannot be corrected or improved adequately by medicine, surgery or regular eyeglasses. But the expertise provided by a low vision specialist is not duplicated by any other type of medical practice. Complementing their ability to examine and treat patients with AMD, these professionals determine which low vision optical devices are best for a patient.
Even when AMD patients have been repeatedly told by eye doctors that a change in eyeglass prescription will not help, low vision specialists can and do help. "There is life after vision loss," Dr. Shuldiner insists. "Whether a person wishes to drive, read, play cards or just see faces, we design special glasses to help people do what they want to do." Low vision specialists further help patients make the most of their remaining vision by providing nutritional guidance, as well as recommendations for improved lighting.
Any diagnosis of permanent vision loss affects far more than the ability to see; it alters how a person views the world by impacting virtually every aspect of a person's life, from how to dress, eat and work to how to maintain independence. If these issues aren't properly addressed, vision loss can lead to needless concern, fear, despair and depression.
In every case, there is reason for hope. Doctors may not yet be able to cure age-related macular degeneration or reverse its effects, but there is so much that can be done. The good news is that AMD will never completely rob a person of his or her vision, and with the help of a low vision specialist a person can frequently continue to enjoy a rich, rewarding life doing many of the things he or she wishes to do.
Locating a qualified low vision optometrist is an easy task. All members of The International Academy of Low Vision Specialists are low vision optometrists with extensive training and experience in dealing with the visual issues of macular degeneration. To locate a member near you, simply visit their website: www.ialvs.com or call 1-888-778-2030.
For more information, contact: Richard Shuldiner O.D. at (888) 610-2020
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SOURCE International Academy of Low Vision Specialists