A low vision therapist is a medical professional or rehabilitation specialist who assists people with visual impairments in becoming as self-sufficient as possible. Low vision therapists, like other types of occupational therapists, place a strong emphasis on empowering their patients so that they can live independently of others. To achieve this goal, a variety of techniques are used, including regular sessions with the patient to monitor progress.
People with degenerative conditions, damage to their eyes that has been stopped but still causes visual issues, and other vision problems may be referred to a low vision therapist. The first step for a low vision therapist is an assessment to determine the patient’s level of function so that the therapist can customize a program for them. To learn more about the patient’s condition, he or she may review the patient’s chart and referral information.
The therapist also conducts an interview with the patient, discussing specific issues that the patient is having difficulty with, such as reading, cooking, and so on. Low vision therapists also discuss patients’ jobs with them to learn more about what they do and how the therapist can help them maintain a high level of freedom and functionality at work. The low vision therapist uses all of this information to create a treatment plan that is right for the patient.
He or she may teach the patient techniques and exercises to help them keep as much visual acuity as possible exercising their eyes and learning to cope with visual impairments. When a patient has a degenerative disease, low vision therapists may be especially concerned about this, as they want to keep the patient fully functional for as long as possible. It’s also crucial to keep an eye on changes in vision quality and other emerging issues on a regular basis.
A low vision therapist can also provide you with information on assistive devices and how to use them. These devices can include magnifying glasses, computer screen readers, and a wide range of other tools that can help a patient with a variety of tasks. Through charitable grants and health insurance coverage, the therapist may be able to provide some devices for free or at a reduced cost, or he or she can assist the patient in selecting the most appropriate products.
A patient’s visit to a low vision therapist can be extremely beneficial, particularly if he or she is dealing with a new diagnosis. The therapist can provide useful information and skills that will help the patient gain confidence and alleviate any concerns they may have.